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Volume 9, Number 61/85 cents 



St. louist 

A City and its § qd fo ro f E b s 



Suburbs and expe'essways, 

barriers in oorfesjEi America 

THE STATUS OF INTEGRATION IN SUBURBAN CHICAGO 


Antax Coai Corp. 
vs Catlin Temslip 




Accuse®!? 

Tlie @11 Companies 


Harry Cargos Interviews John Knoepfle 


ALSO: Senator Stevenson favors public 
corporation to develop energy 
resources / A street encounter 
in Kansas City / Poems by John 

Knoepfle 



OUT 

OF FOCUS 


Illinois mothers entering the hospital under Public Assistance must sign their chil- 
dren over as wards of the State. (The Peoria Chapter of the ACLU is promoting 
legislation to eliminate this requirement.) 


(Readers are invited to submit items 
for publication , indicating whether 
the sender can be identified . Items 
must be fully documented and not 
require any comment.) 


The Missouri Commission on Higher Education said in a year-end report that 
graduate schools were producing too many people for the job market, resulting in 
decreasing employment mobility and a slackening of demand for the graduates. So? 


Mrs. Thomas Swigunski was dismissed as an installment loan account clerk at 
Mercantile Mortgage Co., Clayton, Mo., after she refused to follow a company 
order that she open a checking account at Mercantile Turst Co., reports the St. 
Louis Post-Dispatch. Mercantile Mortage is a subsidiary of Mercantile Trust. By 
refusing to open the account at Mercantile Trust, she would not have access to her- 
paycheck, which would be automatically sent to Mercantile Trust. In order to 
withdraw the money, she would have to have an account at that bank. 


Ms Billie Lasker of St. Louis is a crusader for asexual “purity.” Her latest target 
was a book for children, “Where Do I Come From?” One hour after she, 20 
members of the Billie Lasker Crusade for Decency, the Knights of Columbus of 
University City, and the New Life Evangelistic Center had picketed the B. Dalton 
Bookstore in Northwest Plaza, the book was sold out. (Some publishers are 
wondering whether Ms Lasker might rent out her services?) 

To the dismay and frustration of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat , the annual Veiled 
Prophet Committee has decided to abandon the use of the public Kiel Auditorium 
for its annual balls after 100 years, following a campaign by ACTION, an 
interracial human rights organization. The committee and ball has been noted for 
its racial and religious exclusiveness. 

Missouri’s state capitol is the only statehouse in the United States without a 
“front door.” The south side, which is most seen by the public, is the backside of 
the building. The front faces the Missouri River to the north and has neither 
entrance nor exit. 


W.A. (Tony) Boyle was sentenced to three years in federal prison and fined 
$130,000 for making an illegal political contribution to Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey 
in 1968. Boyle is the former president of the United Mine Workers. A series of 
corporation executives who pleaded guilty to illegal contributions to President 
Nixon’s re-election campaign, each received a $1,000 fine and no prison sentence. 

Mary Cairsn, 8 years old, screamed, “I want my mother,” when sentenced to 18 
months detention for stabbing an 1 1-year-old playmate in Scotland during a fight. 
The playmate is recovering. Mary was carried from the court screaming for her 
mother. 

The “educational gap” has grown. In 1974, the average black in Missouri has 10 
years of education while the average white Missourian has completed 12 years of 
school. In 1960 only about a year of school separated the two groups. Nationally 
the education gap has decreased. 


Billions of public funds have been used to put man into space. Now the scientific 
and economic fallout is given free of charge to giant private corporations. 
Photographic clues from a U.S. satellite has led to the discovery of large deposits 
of uranium in Cape Province, South Africa. American and South African mining 
companies are prospecting and taking up options on farms all over the area. Two 
American mining companies, Union Carbide and Utah Mining, have started pros- 
pecting while three other companies, U.S. Steel, Newmont and Rand Mines of 
South Africa, are seeking options. 


“There is a somewhat bizarre aspect of the American release of the film: ‘The 
Mattei Affair’ takes a hard and explicit line against American oil companies. The 
most infuriating scene of all, in fact, is Mattei’s confrontation with the near 
obscene representatives of these interests. Yet the film is being distributed by 
Paramount Pictures - and Paramount is owned by Gulf and Western. In addition, 
we have the paradox that The Mattei Affair’ is completely free of violence, sex, 
nudity and vulgar language. But it received an R rating from the MPAA. Under 
these circumstances it is difficult to avoid wondering whether the ratings board is 
using the system for de facto political censorship.” 

Stuart Rosenthal in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 



Page Two 


FOCWSf Midwest 


Volume % Num ber 61 


FOCUS /Midwest, P.O.Box 3086, 
St. Louis, Missouri 63130 

FOCUS/Midwest, Volume 9, Number 61. 
Second class postage paid at St. Louis, Mo. 
Published bimonthly by FOCUS/Midwest 
Publishing Co., Inc. Subscription rates: $5/6 
issues (one year); $9.00/12 issues (two 
years); $12.50/18 issues (three years); 
$19/30 issues (five years); $100 lifetime. 
Foreign $2 per year extra. All back issues 
are available. Allow one month for address 
changes. Advertising rates upon request. En- 
close stamped, self-addressed envelope with 
manuscript, November 1973. Copyright © 
1973 by FOCUS/Midwest Publishing Co., 
Inc. No portion of this magazine may be 
reproduced in any form without the express 
permission of the publisher. Please mail sub- 
scriptions, manuscripts, and Post Office 
Form 3579 to FOCUS/Midwest, P.O.B. 
3086, St. Louis, Mo. 63130. 

FOCUS/Midwest is indexed by the Public 
Affairs Information Service, Inc. (PAIS), the 
American Bibliographical Center, the An- 
nual Bibliography of English Language and 
Literature (Leeds, England), and the Index 
of American Periodical Verse. 

Editor and Publisher/Charles L. Klotzer 
Poetry Editor/Dan Jaffe 
Art Editor/Mark M. Per I berg 
Art Director/Peter Geist 

EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS 

(Editorial Contributors are not responsible 
for the editorial policy of FOCUS/Midwest.) 
Irving Achtenberg, Douglas B. Anderson, Irl 
B. Baris, Harry Barnard, Eugene L. Baum, 
Lucille H. Bluford, H. T. Blumenthal, Leo 
Bohanon, Eugene Buder, Harry J. Cargas, 
David B. Carpenter, David L. Colton, Leon 
M. Despres, Pierre de Vise, Irving Dilliard, 
Russell C. Doll, J. W. Downey, Robert 
Farnsworth, James L. C. Ford, Jules B. 
Gerard, Elmer Gertz, David M. Grant, Leon- 
ard Hall, Harold Hartogensis, Robert J. Hav- 
ighurst, James Hitchcock, John Kearney. 
Jack A. Kirkland, Herman Kogan, Sidney 
Lawrence, William B. Lloyd, Jr., Curtis D. 
MacDougall, Frank McCallister, J. Norman 
McDonough, Ralph Mansfield, Martin E. 
Marty, Abner J. Mikva, Florence Moog, 
Harry T. Moore, Henry Orland, Constance 
Osgood, Alexander Polikoff, Denison Ray. 
James D. H. Reefer, Don Rose, Anthony 
Scariano, Sherwin A. Swartz, John M. 
Swomley. Jr., Tyler Thompson, Perry Weed, 
Park J. White. 

International Standard Serial Number: 

US ISSN 0015-508X 

NOTICE: 

In recent weeks, some St. Louis 
residents received a mimeographed 
letter asserting that a class action 
suit is being prepared against a St. 
Louis reporter. The letter was signed 
"F/M, P.O.Box 3086, St. Louis, 
Mo/' The letter was not mailed by 
FOCUS/Midwest and represents an 
unauthorized use of our name by an 
unknown party. A complaint has 
been filed by FOCUS/Midwest with 
the postal authorities. 


OUT OF FOCUS 2 

EDITORIALS / Fifty million kilowatt-hours for missile installations / 
Senator Stevenson favors public corporation to develop energy 
resources / Pornography in Wentzville / A Black United Fund / A 
street encounter in Kansas City 4 


COMING INTO FOCUS 7 


Suburbanization - for whom? 

SUBURBS AND EXPRESSWAYS, BARRIERS IN URBAN 
AMERICA — The status of integration in suburban Chicago / 


Pierre de Vise 

9 

. . . and then there was silence 

ST. LOUIS RESPONDS TO RAND REPORT: “BOOH” /Staff report 19 

ST. LOUIS: A CITY AND ITS SUBURBS / Barbara R. Williams 

20 

Farmland or Wasteland? 

AMAX COAL CORPORATION vs CATLIN TOWNSHIP / 

W. David Baird 

48 

The Artificial Energy Crisis 

ACCUSED: THE OIL COMPANIES / 

John Swomley, Jr. 

50 

POEMS / John Knoepfle 

53 

A writer meets a poet 

WHAT IS POETRY? 

Harry Cargas interviews John Knoepfle 

54 

THE RIGHT WING / Supplement to the Roster 
of the Right Wing 

56 


EDITORIALS 



Fifty Million Kilowatthours 
for missile installations 

Although neither Missouri nor Illinois arc immedi- 
ately involved, the Pentagon decision to seek approval 
for cross-country flights of missiles calls attention to 
Minuteman installations in this area and all they stand 

^The magazine Rural Electrification reports that the 
center of operations for Minuteman installations in 
Missouri is Whiteman Air Force Base located in John- 
son County. The base takes in 3,400 acres of land 500 
of which are covered in cement. It controls 10 facil- 
ities covering 15,600 square miles of the Midwest. 

Each launch control facility houses ten missile silos. 
Even in these days of conserving energy, one can e 
sure that their energy demands will not be questioned. 
Rural Electrification reports, “It takes a lot of el ® c " 
energy to keep these 15 launch control facilities and 
150 missile silos of the 351st (Strategic M.ssUc Wing) 
in perfect working order - over 50 million kl 'ow 
hours a year to be exact, and a good portion of his 
power is provided by four Missouri RECs (Rural Ele 

trification Cooperatives). Central Missouri , 
Missouri EC, SacOsage EC, and West Central EC all 
play an important role in the Minuteman system 

Fifty million kilowatt-hours in one region for one 
defense system. Who said that Amcnca couMn t 
handle its civilian energy requirements. Maybe C 
gress should check on the Pentagon and its unbridled 
usage of energy for weapons systems. 

Senator Stevenson favors public 
corporation to develop energy resources 

Watergate highlights the corruption of our poUtical 

process. The oil crises reveals a similar corruption 
within our economic life. For a starter, no one is 
absolutely certain that there is an oil crises except 
possibly Energy Chief Simon. Only the select 
the oil hierarchy are privy to all the facts. Sin 

everyone else, that includes governmental and academ- 
ic experts, has only secondhand information, we, too, 
can speculate and participate in this national pastime 
of finding the culprits. 

It’s all circumstantial evidence, as we said, Bu 
since governmental spokesmen and oil company ads 
seem equally fervent insisting that the crises is real, we 
would like to recite from a few news stories which 
should give the reader second thoughts. 

• Before the oil shortage, shale oil could not be 
exploited because of cost and environmental objec- 
tions. The rise in oil prices has now made the explora- 
tion of shale oil a profitable possibility and the In- 
terior Department has already decided to go ahead 
with the program although it is aware of severe en- 
vironmental drawbacks. 

• A former Middle Eastern specialist for Standard Oil 
Co. of California claims that the crisis is an invention 
by the government to draw public attention away 
from Watergate and by the oil industry to increase 
profits. Christopher T. Rand, the expert, suggests that 
if Congress passes legislation forcing disclosure of oil 
data, the industry spokesman would simply say, “Oh, 
we looked in our tanks and it turned out there was 
more oil than we thought.” 

• Congress passed construction of the Alaskan pipeline 
ind environmentalists have gone into hiding. 

In our last issue we suggested that public acquisi- 
tion or nationalization of mismanaged industries 


Page Four 



St. Louis County Police Board 
issued misleading statement 

FOCUS/Midwest reported last fall that the 
St. Louis County Board of Police Com- 
missioners would finally act on a draft of a 
complaint procedure within two months, after 
having received the original report four years 
ago. So far nothing has happened. We are dis- 
turbed both by the inaction as well as the 
outright misleading statement issued by the 
chairman. Doing nothing in effect rejects the 
recommendation. The time is overdue for the 
Board to have the guts to take a stand one 
way or another. 

(Amtrack, etc.) should not only be considered when 
there are losses, such as the railroad or public transpor- 
tation industry, but also when there arc substantial 
profits, such as the oil companies. 

Such action must incorporate safeguards that the 
enormous power in oil would not accrue to the polit- 
ical party in power. Republicans or Democrats. Such 
safeguards can be designed. After all, the government 
is, for example, in the insurance business (social securi- 
ty), medicine (medical care, medicaid), printing and 
publishing (GPO), and so forth, none of which are 
known for being corrupt or politically exploited by 
the incumbents. Indeed, by the creation of the Atomic 
“Energy” Commission it has been in the energy pro- 
ducing business for some time. 

Mismanagement, shortages, excessive prices, public 
discontent, and economic reversals are in combination 
sufficient justification to buy out the oil bankers 
U.S. Senator Adlai E. Stevenson is among the few 
legislators who dares to address himself to this very 
question. He has introduced legislation to create a 
public corporation to develop resources for the benefit 
of the public. 1 

In his Washington Report the Senator declares that- 
“One of the ironies of the energy crisis is that the' 
U.S. has vast undeveloped reserves of oil and natural 
gas. These resources lie under public lands Thcv ir> 
owned by the people - the same people who arc now 
paying for years of mismanagement of the nation’- 
energy resources. ‘ s 

Senator Stevenson has introduced legislation 
create a public corporation to develop these rcsonr 
for the benefit of the public. 

In addition to producing needed fuel, the publi ■ 
corporation would stimulate competition in the nctro^ 
leum industry and provide a “yardstick” against which 
the costs and performance of private companies could 
be measured. “It would help keep the major oil com- 
panics honest,” Stevenson said. 

Stevenson cited the record of the Tennessee Valiev 
Authority in the production of hydroelectric power 
and pointed out that “other nations have long recoc 
nized that the assured production of oil and natural 
gas at reasonable cost is essential to the public in- 
terest.” 


Pornography in Wentzville 

Mrs. Roberta Payne, a teen counselor for the Urban 
League of St. Louis, was invited by Mrs. Cindy 1 
Bernsen, a Wentzville (Mo.) public school teacher, to 
present a series of workshops for Mrs. Bernsen’s junior 
high and senior higli school pupils. These workshops 
were given during the school day of Monday, Novem- 

FOCUS/ Midwest 





EDITORIALS 



bcr 12, 1973, for Mrs. Bernsen’s health and hygiene 
classes. 

The Wcntzville School Board had a meeting that 
Monday night, November 12, 1973, and during the 
meeting, voted to suspend Mrs. Bemsen without pay, 
charging her with inviting a social service agency to 
come in and pass out pornographic literature. 

The literature in question is published by the 
Planned Parenthood Association, Office of World Pop- 
ulation, and is available to anyone requesting it 
throughout the United States. 

The Urban League has used this material in its 
Family Life Education and Health Education program 
for several years — and there has never been a com- 
ment hinting that this educational material might be 
considered “pornographic.” 

Aren’t there some citizens in Wcntzville who can 
induce their school board members to join the twen- 
tieth century? 


A Black United Fund 

The purpose and direction of the United Fund has 
rarely been questioned. A couple of years ago a group 
of private citizens found that the UF may support 
many good causes, but the needs of the poor or the 
Blacks are not necessarily among them. In recent 
years, the UF has been somewhat more responsive. 

When the UF hired an outside consultant firm to 
study its own operations, the findings were never 
made public. If it alleged that they paralleled many of 
the complaints voiced by the private citizens. 

While internal and external criticisms didn’t change 
the allocation of UF monies, the creation of the 
United Black Community Fund for the Metropolitan 
St. Louis area may have a more dramatic effect. The 
Black UF could and no doubt will call upon labor 
groups, businesses, and other institutions for their 
cooperation in collecting donations. Of course, this 
would create a schism in loyalties, duplicate collection 
efforts, and dilute the influence of the established UF. 
When this situation arose in Washington, D.C., a com- 


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promise was worked out. The newly formed Black UF 
was integrated into the established UF and given a 
substantial allocation. 

We hope that the St. Louis civic leadership is 
capable of the same enlightened cooperation and that 
the black group shows enough stamina to be reckoned 
with in years to come. 

Clifford Wilson, executive director of the Brother- 
hood of Black Packing House Workers, and Mo. State 
Senator Raymond Howard, an attorney, are assisting 
in establishing the fund. It is our hope that they can 
call upon sufficient resources and support to establish 
a firm base for their undertaking. 


A street encounter in Kansas City 

A Watergate-style cover-up took place in Kansas 
City last summer. The plot hatched at Police head- 
quarters at 1 1 o’clock on the night of May 9, 1973. 

Due to the investigative work of Sidney L. Widens, 
attorney and frequent contributor to FOCUS/ 
Midwest , this plot ultimately unravelled and the 
guilty. Patrolmen William Sowder and Robert Mathis, 
were suspended for 60 resp. 10 days. Since in most 
instances, private citizens are at a clear disadvantage in 
challenging statements by police officers, it is of some 
value to follow the details of this case. 

Sowder and Mathis shared the professional knowl- 
edge that chances were slim that any prosecutor would 
charge them with a crime or that they would be caught. 

All the weight of the forces of the Police depart- 
ment would be thrown against their victims, Wilbert 
and Rose Mary Neal, the couple they had just beaten 
and arrested. 

Already other policemen had locked up the Neals 
inside a paddy wagon and were carrying them to 
General hospital for treatment. Soon the Neals would 
be returned to Sowder and Mathis at headquarters for 
them to charge the Neals with crime. 

The drama unfolded an hour and a half earlier at 
31st and Indiana. Sowder and Mathis were part of a 
tactical unit to keep under surveillance certain known 
“perpetrators” of crime. They wore plainclothes. They 
rode in an unmarked car. 

As Sowder and Mathis cruised along 31st street on 
this pleasant spring evening they observed Jerry 
Kelton, a felon. Kelton had just gotten out of his 
Cadillac parked on a lot on the northwest corner of 
31st and Indiana. He had started to walk south across 
the street to the Rafiki Lounge. 

Mathis stopped his patrol car. Sowder got out and 
walked to the rear where he exchanged friendly words 
with Kelton, frisked him lightly, and let him proceed 
to the lounge. Mathis got out and walked to an Olds- 
mobile parked alongside the curb and slightly ahead of 
his patrol car. 

Mathis knocked on the window of the Oldsmobile, 
showed his police identification through the window, 
and ordered the driver, Wilbert Neal, to come out. 
Mathis waved to the passenger, William Johnson, to 
get out on the passenger side. They all moved to the 
rear of the Oldsmobile where Mathis questioned Neal 
and Johnson. Sowder stood by silently. 

Rose Mary Neal had not seen Sowder and Mathis 
drive up. While Wilbert waited in the car. Rose Mary 
had walked across the street to J. B.’s Barbecue for a 
carry-out food order that had to be prepared. 

Rose Mary saw the two plain-clothes men sur- 

Page 


Volume 9, Number 61 




EDITORIALS 


rounding her husband on her way out of J. B.’s. As she 
walked across the street she asked the unidentified 
men what they were doing to her husband. 

“Shut up,” Sowder said. 

“I don’t have to shut up,” Rose Mary replied. 
‘That’s my husband.” 

Sowder told her to shut up again. 

Rose Mary, who assumed the white men were 
policemen, put her food package inside her Olds- 
mobile. Sowder quickly walked over to the Olds, 
opened the door, grabbed Rose Mary’s purse, and 
slammed it down on top of the car. 

“Don’t be throwing my stuff around,” Rose Mary 
said. 

“I told you to shut up,” Sowder replied. 

“I don’t have to shut up,” Rose Mary answered. 
“You look like you’re 22 and you don’t have any right 
to throw my purse around and to tell me to shut up. 
That’s my husband.” 

“You look like you’re 35,” Sowder said. “And I’m 
going to shut you up.” 

Sowder lunged for Wilbert who faced him, threw 
him to the ground, and grabbed Rose Mary and put 
her neck in a hammerlock. He began to strike her face 
with his fist. 

Rose Mary cried out hysterically. Sowder swung 
her around and slammed his revolver against her back. 
Wilbert sprang to his feet to rescue his wife. But 
Mathis struck him across the forehead with a night- 
stick. 

At headquarters Sowder and Mathis reflected on 
these events. They knew Sowder triggered the inci- 
dent. He had lost his cool. He was over six feet tall. He 
had jumped on a five-foot tall unarmed woman, 
punched her in the face, and struck her with his 
revolver. 

But the die was cast. There was no turning back. 
For their own protection, Sowder and Mathis must 
charge the Neals with the crime of resisting arrest, this 
would justify Sowder hitting Rose Mary and Mathis 
striking Wilbert. 

But a sticky legal problem faced Sowder and 
Mathis. How to find “reasonable grounds” required by 
law to stop and detain a citizen. 

Why did Mathis walk over to the Neal car in the 
first place? Why did he order Wilbert and William 
Johnson out of the car? 

Mathis recalled an unopened beer bottle sitting on 
the hump under Neal’s dashboard. He could not have 
seen Wilbert drink from it, Mathis reasoned, unless the 
patrol car passed by Neal vehicle. So Sowder and 
Mathis agreed they did not stop at the first sight of 
Jerry Kelton. 

Instead, they concluded, the patrol car had to 
round the block and go by the Neal vehicle. They 
could then have observed Wilbert drinking from the 
bottle. This would justify the stop and the charge of 
“having control of a motor vehicle while under the 
influence of intoxicating liquor.” Sowder and Mathis 
knew the law required the motor of Neal’s parked 
vehicle to be running before a conviction on such 
charge. So they agreed they had to hear it running. 

The next problem for Sowder and Mathis was to 
justify the criminal charges against the Neals. 

Rose Mary, the officers agreed, had to jump on 
Sowder. And Sowder merely had to act in self-defense. 
Mathis then had to hit Wilbert with a nightstick as he 
jumped to strike Sowder. 

To unravel this story the defense got the eager 
cooperation of witnesses who fearlessly came forward. 


Page Six 



Depositions before the Municipal Court trial 
immeasurably aided the defense. In his deposition 
Sowder was asked to trace his exact movements after 
he got out of the patrol car. Unknowingly, he proved 
that he had had all of his direct contact on the 
passenger side of Neal’s vehicle with William Johnson. 
Yet Sowder said he could immediately smell alcohol 
on Wilbert’s breath. 

Sowder was asked to repeat everything he said to 
Rose Mary after she arrived on the scene. Finally, he 
recognized that he had not told her he was a police 
officer, as required by Missouri law. 

In his deposition Mathis said he saw Wilbert start 
to attack Sowder who was scuffling with Rose Mary. 
But Mathis testified he did not observe Sowder strike 
Rose Mary. Nor did he hear her scream. 

Yet independent witnesses across the street saw 
Sowder punch Rose Mary in the face “several times” 
and heard her loud hysterical screams. Mathis agreed 
he was looking in the direction of Sowder and Rose 
Mary. 

Sowder and Mathis said Wilbert and William John- 
son “appeared to be exchanging words” with Kelton. 
Yet Neal’s car windows were up and, according to the 
officers, Kelton stood on a spot away from Neal’s car 
on the north edge of the sidewalk. The sidewalk is 12 
feet wide. 

A crowning blow to the City’s case against the 
Neals came indirectly. In a circuit court hearing on 
Wilbert’s application for reinstatement of his driver’s 
license, Sowder took refuge under the Fifth amend- 
ment. 

Fearful of a perjury charge, Sowder did not repeat 
his affidavit under oath that Wilbert had refused a 
breath-alyzer test. This affidavit formed the basis for 
Wilbert’s license revocation by the Safety Responsibil- 
ity Unit in Jefferson City. A circuit court judge 
quickly reinstated Wilbert’s license. 

Again, apparently fearful of a perjury charge, 
Sowder declined to testify in the circuit court trial on 
the very charges he had brought against the Neals. 

Judge Alvin C. Randall dismissed all charges. 

The Neals case is a typical street encounter be- 
tween a policeman and a citizen. There are usually 
three steps to such a confrontation. Here it was Of- 
ficer Sowder ’s perception of a challenge to his author- 
ity when Rose Mary asked him what he was doing 
with her husband. 

The second step was Officer Sowder’s demand for 
submission (“shut up”). The third step was Rose 
Mary’s response to the demand. She refused to go 
along with Sowder’s improper behavior, including the 
slamming of her purse on top of the car. 

The apparently irrational and prevocative behavior 
of Officer Sowder raises the question whether he de- 
liberately encouraged the difficulty. This is one of the 
unresolved questions about his behavior, one that may 
never be answered. 

But the worst problem in this incident was not that 
Sowder and Mathis quarreled with Wilbert and Rose 
Mary. Most such quarrels, while never admirable, are 
at least understandable. 

The worst abuse is not even that Sowder and 
Mathis hit the Neals; after all, irate citizens hit each 
other in private disputes every day. 

The root problem was their abuse of power, the 
fact they not only hit Wilbert and Rose Mary but 
charged them with crimes. Once that happened, lying 
became an inevitable part of the procedure of making 
the quarrel look like a crime. 



FOCUS /Midwest 






COMING INTO FOCUS 



(This is the first of a new column highlight- 
ing people and organizations, issues and 
campaigns, situations and developments, 
which have their locale in Missouri or Illi- 
nois and which make the workings of demo- 
cracy more effective. Democracy we under- 
stand in its broadest terms — culturally, 
socially, and politically.) 

WOMEN IN ARTS The first "Festival of 
Missouri Women in the Arts" will be held in 
communities throughout Missouri during 
the spring and summer of 1974. Featuring 
women artists, writers and performers, pro- 
fessional and non-professional, the Festival 
is open to all Missouri women over 18. The 
project is being coordinated by the Missouri 
Division of the American Association of 
University Women and other women's 
organizations. Registration forms and fur- 
ther information may be obtained by 
writing: Festival Registrar, Box 67, Floris- 
sant, Mo. 63033. 

CONGRATULATIONS TO Charles 
Guenther, St. Louis poet, who was honored 
by the Italian government in recognition of 
his translations of contemporary Italian 
poetry and his "long and valuable work per- 
meating two cultures" . . . Art Simon, a 
Lutheran pastor on the Lower East Side of 
Manhattan, is organizing "a citizens' lobby 
against world hunger and poverty" called 
Bread for the World. Commonweal maga- 
zine reports (Feb. 8, 1974, p. 460) that Art 
Simon's book "The Politics of World Hun- 
ger" (Harper's Magazine Press. $8.95) is 
both manifesto and manual for that move- 
ment. Written with his brother Paul Simon, 
journalist, former Lt. Governor of Illinois, 
and presently electioneering for Rep. Ken- 
neth Gray's seat in the 24th District, Com- 
monweal declares "the book is also one of 
the most readable, informed and action- 
directed statements on the scandal of global 
poverty to come along in a very long time." 

the Ford Foundation for investing 
$160,000 in the Illinois Neighborhood Cor- 
poration. The South Shore neighborhood in 
Chicago has changed dramatically in the last 
several years. In 1950 there were no blacks; 
now the area is 69 percent black, and 7.2 
percent of the population have incomes be- 
low the poverty line. Established lending 
institutions are withdrawing mortgage 
credit, a common practice in deteriorating 
inner-city areas. The Corporation has been 
formed to spur the economic and social 
development of the community. Its first act 
was to acquire the South Shore National 


Bank, which will provide loans for minority 
businesses, community projects, and the, 
construction and rehabilitation of housing. 
BOLLING RECOMMENDATION: A fossil 
of America's recent past is the House Inter- 
nal Security Committee (formerly HUAC), 
chaired by Rep. Richard H. (chord (Dem.), 
a congressman from Missouri's conservative 
8th District. Another Missouri congressman. 
Rep. Richard Bolling from Kansas City, as 
head of a special House committee on re- 
organizing House committees proposed to 
transfer the legal jurisdiction of Ichord's 
committee to the Judiciary Committee. 
Ichord doesn't like that. But with detente in 
vogue and with only Phyllis Schlafly left to 
stir the fires of the red scare, that overdue 
reorganization may even have a chance. 

HOW DO YOU SEE "ALL IN THE 
FAMILY?" — In "Archie Bunker's Bigotry: 
Perceptions in the Eye of the Beholder," 
appearing in Journal of Communication, 
authors Neil Vidmar and Milton Rokeach 
report on a study on the successful tele- 
vision series. They report, "Nonprejudiced 
viewers and minority group viewers may 
perceive and enjoy All in the Family as 
satire, whereas prejudiced viewers may per- 
ceive and enjoy the show as 'telling it like it 
is.' " The study gives support to the conten- 
tion that All in the Family has harmful 
effects; that perhaps it "encourages bigots 
to excuse and rationalize their own prej- 
udices," rather than providing a "cathartic 
reduction of bigotry." 

BOOKS: The 1974 edition of 'The 
Almanac of American Politics" gives not 
only factual details about Senators, Con- 
gressmen, and their electorates, but it also 
gives voting records and incisive descriptions 
of all congressional districts and states. The 
tendency would be offer the readers a 
1240-page compendium chockfull of dry 
facts. While it is full of facts, tables, and 
summations, the writing is nevertheless 
colorful. Here is one sample. Discussing 
Rep. Richard H. Ichord's chairmanship of 
the House Internal Security Committee (for- 
merly HUAC), the editors summarize the 
history of this ineffectual committee and 
the attempts to cut its budget. "After all, 
considerable evidence exists in these Nixon 
days that the committee had looked for 
conspiracies in the wrong places." 

'The Ebony Handbook," (Johnson Pub- 
lishing Co., p. 553, $20.00) is an expensive 
but excellent reference work on blacks in 
America. It offers comprehensive data and 
tables on socioeconomic characteristics, 
health and welfare, contemporary events, 
education, law, sports, among many other 
topics. 

More power to the Missouri Association 
for Social Welfare for their report on Mis- 
souri's jails. The 134 jails reported on by 
MASW were built during the late 1800s 
and early 1900s. Fifty of these do not 
have twenty-four hour supervision; in over 
fifty there are no visiting areas at all; for- 
ty-five of these jails are seventy-five to one 


JUST OFF PRESS 

PRESIDENTIAL 

IMPEACHMENT: 

An American Dilemma 


Walter Ehrlich 


Introduction By 

Richard Dudman 

Chief Washington Correspondent 
St. Louis Post-Dispatch 


a Includes commentaries by 

ARCHIBALD COX and 

former Congressman THOMAS 
CURTIS 

■ Must reading for all citizens 

■ 192 pages $2.95 


Order from your Bookstore or 

F hi > 

FORUM PRESS 
St. Charles, Missouri 63301 


hundred years old or older; twenty jails 
have wooden ceilings, dangerous wiring, 
and other flammable construction; and. at 
least, two jails have been continually con- 
demned by local grand juries but are still 
in use. 


Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation. 1 Title of Publica- 
tion: FOCUS/Mid west. 2. Date of Filing: October 1973. 3. Frequency of 
Issue Six times per year. 4. Location of Known Office of Publication: P. O. 
Box 3086, St. Louis, Mo. 63130. 5. Location of the Headquarters or General 
Business Offices of the Publishers 884 Berick Drive. St Louis. Mo. 63132. 6. 
Publisher: Charles L. Klotzcr. 884 Berick Drive. St. Louis. Mo. 63132. 
Editor: Charles L. Klotzcr, 884 Berick Drive. St. Louis, Mo. 63132. Managing 
Editor: Same. 7 Owners: FOCUS/Midwest Publishing Co., Inc., St. Louis, 
Mo.; Joseph P. Antonow, Chicago. 111.; William F. Bartholomew, Kansas City, 
Mo.; Robert L. Brody, Chicago. 111.. Eugene Buder, St. Louis, Mo.; Dr. 
Anthony K. Busch. St. Louis, Mo Mrs. Edwin E Clarkson. Kansas City. Mo.. 
Howard Clement. Chicago. Ill . Dr. William M. Danforth. St. Louis, Mo . 
Robert T Drake. Chicago. III.. Edmund K. Ekhengxeen. Chicago. Ill ; Mrs 
Jacquelin A. Frankel, Chicago. 111., Willard Freehling. Chicago, 111 ; Her- 
man M. Harris, Chicago. III.; J.H Herz. Winnetka, 111 . Mrs. Marcus A. 
Hirschl, Pasadena, Calif., Lawrence KassakofT. Chicago, 111.. Samuel M. 
Katzin, Chicago, 111 . Charles L. Klotzer, St. Louis, Mo ; Phillip M. Klutznkk, 
Chicago. III. . Edwin J. Kuh. Jr.. Highland Park. 111.. Sigmund Kunstadter. 
Chicago. Ill .Sidney Lawrence. Kansas City. Mo . Robert Ufton, Chicago. Ill . 
Dick H. Mudge, Jr. Edwardsville. 111.; Robert F Picken. Chicago. 111.. Jerome 
Stone. Chicago, 111.; Dr. Don L. Thurston. St. Louis, Mo.. William M Trum- 
bull, Jamaica. W.I., James Zaitman, Chicago. 111. 8. Known bondholders, 
mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding 1 per cent or more 
of the amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: none. 1 1 . Extent and 
nature of circulation. A Total no. copies printed (Net Press Run) average no. 
copies each issue during preceding 12 months 5.000; single issue nearest to 
filing date 8.000 B. Paid circulation (1) Sales through dealers and earners, 
street vendors and counter sales average no. copies each issue during preced- 
ing 12 months: 1,042; single issue nearest to filing date: 3,180. (2) Mail 
subscriptions: average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 
2,661; single issue nearest to filing date 2.124. C. Total paid circulation 
average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months; 3,703; single issue 
nearest to filing date 5,304. D. Free distribution by mail, carrier, or other 
means (1) Samples, complimentary, and other free copies average no copies 
each issue during preceding 12 months: 132; single tssue nearest to filing 
date 22. (2) Copies distributed to news agents, but not sold average no 
copies each issue during preceding 12 months. 344; single issue nearest to 
filing date 996 E. Total distribution (Sum of C and D): average no copies 
each issue during preceding 12 months: 4.179; single issue nearest to filing 
date; 6,329 F. Office use, left over, unaccounted, spoiled after printing: 
average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months 821, single issue 
nearest to filing date 1 ,678 G Total (Sum of E A F - should equal net press 
run shown in A): average no. copies each tssue during preceding 12 months 
5.000, single issue nearest to filing date 8,000. I certify that the statements 
made by me above arc correct and complete Charles L. Klotzer 

Page Seven 


Volume 9, Number 61 





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where Chicago is seen 
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SUBURBANIZATION - FOR WHOM? 


Suburbs and 

expressway s> 

barriers in urban America 

THE ST A TUSOF INTEGRATION IN SUBURBAN CHICAGO 



PIERRE DE VISE 

Freedom of movement and the pursuit of happiness are 
perhaps the two most distinctive traits of life in America. 
No other nation is large and rich enough to match the 
geographic and social mobility and the standard of living 
enjoyed by the American people. 

We have used this freedom of movement in pursuit of 
happiness to flock in ever greater numbers to densely 
packed metropolitan areas. Almost three-fourths of all 
Americans now live in 300 such urban concentrations. But 
have we found happiness there? Not if we are to believe 
opinion polls which show that only about 1 5 percent of 
Americans prefer to live in large cities and that the great 
majority — between 60 and 70 percent — indicate a prefer- 
ence for living in small towns. But despite these prefer- 
ences, Americans keep gravitating away from small towns 
and farms to large urban areas. 

The man-made landscape and flatlands of the former 
prairies and swamps of Cook County cannot match the 
scenic beauty and variety of the rolling hills and forests of 
Southern Illinois. Only a dozen counties in the nation have 
dirtier air than Cook County. Only eight counties have a 
higher homicide rate. In only two counties must workers 
travel farther to work. Yet ten times as many people live in 
Cook County as live in the 27 counties of scenic, safe, and 
sanitary Southern Illinois. 

Small Towns Forsaken for Jobs 

The answer to this paradox, of course, is that lovers of 
the small town forsake those small towns for the higher- 
paying and more plentiful and more interesting jobs avail- 
able in the big cities. A recent opinion survey conducted in 
Midwestern states revealed that 70 percent of the popula- 
tion want to live in a small town within 30 miles of a large 
city. But only 10 percent want to live in the large city 
itself. The remaining 20 percent - who make up two-thirds 
of those living outside of metropolitan areas - indicated a 
preference to stay there. 

Within the six counties of metropolitan Chicago, 50 to 
60,000 people move each year from the big city to the 
suburbs In this way, they pay homage to the nostalgic 
small towns, rolling hills, and forests of Southern Illinois. 
They move to places called villages which have more people 
than most Illinois counties, to places with uplifting names 


like Mount, Hills, Heights, and Ridge to dignify natural or 
landfill elevations of 5 to 10 feet, and to places with sylvan 
names like Forest, Wood, Oak, Park, and Lawn as a memo- 
rial to the former vegetation cover. 

Even those who stay in Chicago can vicariously enjoy 
the experience of living in small towns, hills, and forests bv 
living several hundred feet off the ground in places called 
Sandburg Village overlooking the 90-year old woods of 
Lincoln Park. 

Those who wish to enjoy the wilderness experience mo 
vigorously can visit the South Side communities Kenwood 6 
Oakland, and Woodlawn, where nature lovers are speedi 
the reforestation of these former woodlands bv h..™- 
down the buddings. min 8 

Half of Chicago’s 76 communities have names that 
fleet the nostalgia for ancestral small towns hillc ^ 
forests. ’ ’ and 

Not just the people, but also jobs, stores and w* 
tions flee the city for the suburbs. In the lkst ten , tU * 
Chicago lost half a million whites, 229,000 jobs and iS 
stores. The suburbs on the receiving end gained Son nS 
whites, half a million jobs, and 800 stores. For Chica u° 
losses amounted to 18 percent of its I960 white n , 
tion, 14 percent of its jobs, and 17 percent of its store 1 ”*' 
Is suburbanization proceeding too fast? s ‘ 

Is the nostalgia of the small town the main drivine f 
Or do people follow the jobs? Does the influx of blacked 
other minorities into the inner city contribute to the suh 
ban flight? Do expressways and increased car owner!^' 
facilitate the flight? Do all people benefit equally? Wh 
gains? Who loses? How do real estate interests, the local t 
base, institutions, and transportation adapt to thic u ** 
movement of people and jobs? ims hu S e 

Suburbanization Is Inevitable 

We have provided some answers to these questions in 
previous articles. 

The tendency of people to move away from cities to 
suburbs is universal and is not appreciably affected by such 
things as the city’s loss of jobs, the influx of minorities, or 
new expressways. For example, cities with no new express- 
ways lost just as many jobs and gained just as many auto- 
mobile commuters in the last ten years as cities with new 


Page Ten 


FOCUS/ Midwest 


expressways. Metropolitan Chicago since 1960 gained a 
third more automobile commuters and lost 13 percent of 
its mass transit commuters not because of its expressways 
but because the new locations for home and job are not 
accessible by public transportation. Work places still acces- 
sible by public transportation have not lost transit commut- 
ers. More rapid transit riders and fewer car drivers commute 
to Chicago’s downtown today than 20 years ago, even 
though all the new expressways converge on the Loop. 

In the face of residential and industrial dispersion, no 
amount of subsidies or metropolitan-wide unification or 
coordination of transit can reverse the trend of fewer tran- 
sit riders and more car drivers. Even the elimination of the 
fare altogether would not result in more riders ten years 
from now. 

Mass transit is essential for downtown workers and for 
workers who do not have a car. But mass transit cannot 
survive today without a subsidy even in New York City 
which has by far the best conditions for it. A permanent 
and substantial transit subsidy, fed in part by motor fuel 
taxes, is therefore urgently needed. Also important is tran- 
sit unification. But the main purpose of subsidy and unifi- 
cation is to reduce fares, not to increase ridership, which is 
a lost cause. 

Suburbanization Not For Poor and Blacks 

The middle class and whites have benefited far more 
from suburbanization than have poor people and blacks. 
Within the six counties of metropolitan Chicago, 61 percent 
of the whites but only 10 percent of the blacks live in the 
suburbs; 71 percent of the families that earn over $25,000 
but only 15 percent of the families on welfare live in the 
suburbs. Blacks, regardless of income, are being denied the 
advantages of the better housing, jobs, stores, and schools 
available in the suburbs. Most of the new industries are 
locating in the northwest suburbs, far removed from Chica- 
go’s southside. Worker shortages in the northwest suburbs 
cannot be filled by unemployed blacks on the South Side 
because of distance and lack of public transportation and 
convenient expressway linkages. 

Blacks suffer in other ways. The suburbs have drained 
not only the jobs from the inner city but also the tenants of 
tens of thousands of residential, industrial, and commercial 

Volume 9, Number 61 


structures. The resulting vacancies are concentrated in the 
black inner city creating about a dozen square miles of 
dying communities. Real estate developers are catering to 
the suburbanizing propensities of whites by building twice 
as many new residential, commercial, and industrial units as 
are needed. The housing and commercial surpluses naturally 
occur where the markets are weakest. As a result, Wood- 
lawn and a dozen other poor black communities lost over a 
fourth of their housing and over half of their stores just in 
the last ten years. 

Economic and Racial Segregation 

Blacks are shut out of the suburbs by both economic 
and racial segregation. Blacks make up 25 percent of the 
renters and 6 percent of the home owners in metropolitan 
Chicago. The higher the housing cost, the lower the percent 
of black occupants: Thus blacks occupy but 5 percent of 
the apartments renting over $200 a month and only one 
percent of the homes valued at $35,000 or more. This kind 
of economic segregation has been fostered in the suburbs 
by municipal zoning practices and other land development 
controls to hold down population density and to keep out 
middle and lower income families whose housing would not 
yield enough property tax base to pay for local services. 
Economic segregation has also been fostered by subdivision 
builders who produce large housing developments in the 
same price range because of the house buyer’s preference 
for homogeneous class neighborhoods. 

Racial segregation occurs when blacks are excluded from 
the housing they desire and can afford. Thus racial segrega- 
tion keeps blacks out of Chicago’s Bridgeport and Cicero 
even though the average housing cost there is much below 
the average cost paid by blacks. Racial segregation accounts 
for about two-thirds and economic segregation for about 
one-third of the exclusion of blacks from Chicago’s white 
communities and suburbs. The combined effect of econom- 
ic and racial segregation is the packing of 78 percent of 
Chicago’s blacks and 96 percent of suburban blacks into 
neighborhoods that are 90 percent or more black. 

In terms of housing costs, DuPage County is the most 
economically segregated county in Illinois and Arlington 
Heights is the most economically segregated large suburb 
(50,000 or more people). The potential housing market for 
blacks is a major index of economic segregation. In a 

Page Eleven 





color-blind housing market — in other words, in the absence 
of racial segregation — blacks would occupy 7 percent of 
the housing in DuPage County and 5 percent of the housing 
in Arlington Heights. 

Both DuPage County and Arlington Heights are defend- 
ants in complaints of exclusionary housing and zoning 
practices now before the Federal Courts. Relief from 
this kind of exclusion should be sought on behalf of all 
lower income people who are thereby deprived of access to 
the new jobs opening up in the west and northwest suburbs. 
But such relief , if it is granted, will be of little help to black 
people in the face of the more formidable obstacle of racial 
segregation. In fact, most low income and moderate income 
housing projects in Chicago and suburbs are just as racially 
segregated as in the private housing market. 

Racial discrimination cannot be legislated or adjudicated 
out of existence. On strict economic grounds, hundreds of 
thousands of blacks could move closer to the more plentiful 
jobs and better schools in the suburbs. They are prevented 
from doing so by the knowledge that they are unwelcome 
in the suburbs. How many whites would move to the 
suburbs at the price of ostracism, insults, and vandalism? 
How many Jews and Catholics now move to anti-Semitic 
and anti-Catholic suburbs like Kenilworth? 


Expressways Should Be a Link — 

Not a Barrier 

If the suburbs continue to shut out black residents, we 
must find other ways to make suburban jobs more acces- 
sible to Chicago’s South Side. We need to take a hard look 
at our expressway system. The main rationale for building 
expressways was to speed up the work trip and other trips. 
Travel time was reduced tremendously by expressways out-, 
side of peak hours. But the expressways have become so 
popular for work trips that they are failing because of their 
success. For at least the first five miles, the nineteenth 
century commuter on horseback or bicycle could get home 
from work faster than the twentieth century commuter can 
in a car today. 

Another rationale for building the expressways was that 
they would relieve automobile and truck traffic on the 
surface streets. But what has happened is that expressway 
traffic during peak hours spills over onto the surface streets 
until the speeds on both are equalized to a creeping, stop- 
and-go 10 to 15 M.P.H. 

These unforeseen self-defeating developments are due to 
the inefficient use and the incomplete status of Chicago’s 
expressways. During rush hours, the average load is 1.2 
persons per car. Expressway capacity could be increased by 
one third and travel speed could be doubled overnight if 
cars carried an average of two persons — that is, the driver 
and one passenger. 

The original expressway plan specified seven radial and 
three concentric expressways in the first two stages of 
construction. The seven radial expressways were built first 
because of the higher cost of land acquisition in the core of 
the city. But the anti-expressway revolt cut down the three 
concentric expressways to one - the Crosstown - and even 
this sole survivor has a precarious future. The original 
expressway planners would have been horrified at the 
thought of freezing the network in its present radial pattern 
converging on the Loop. They would probably have pre- 
dicted worse congestion than we actually have in the funnel- 
ing of seven expressways into the main stem of the Dan 
Ryan-Kennedy. 

Forcing South Side blacks working in the northwest 
suburbs to use this main-stem congested by workers bound 
for downtown, and to pass through that downtown which 
shuns them as workers is a double affront. The main stem 

Page Twelve 


of Dan Ryan-Kennedy must be decongested by penalizing 
drivers who do not carry passengers and by building at least 
one of the three crosstown expressways originally planned. 

Reducing racial discrimination through community open 
house programs is clearly a voluntary local community 
initiative. Reducing expressway congestion is just as clearly 
a governmental responsibility. Exhortation to form volun- 
tary car-pools would be just as ineffective as similar appeals 
to individuals to voluntarily reduce their consumption of 
pollution-producing goods like automobiles. 

Penalize The Sole Driver 

In view of man’s propensity to befoul his nest, and his 
reluctance to voluntarily forego the freedom to drive a car 
in return for an intangible common good, nothing short of 
a severe financial penalty would induce people to join 
car-pools and convince them that carpooling would be 
substantial enough to reduce expressway traffic and speed 
the worktrip. 

Such a financial penalty might be a city sticker of $300 
a year giving individuals a license to drive on expressways 
during rush-hour without passengers. A driver with one ' 
passenger would pay $50 a year, and a driver with two or 
more passengers would pay nothing. 

This sanction should effectively decongest all the ex- 
pressways other than the main stem of the Dan Ryan 
Expressway. The way would then be clear to build one of 
the three planned Crosstown Expressways with the guaran- 
tee that it too would not become congested in two years 
and that it will divert enough drivers from the Dan Ryan- 
Kennedy to decongest that bottleneck. Many drivers would 
persist in driving alone despite the dollar-a-day penalty. The 
expected revenue of from $30 to $50 million a year should 
go to finance a consolidated metropolitan transit authority 
and to reduce the fare to 25 cents per zone in a four-zone 
or five-zone division of the expanded service area. 

Here then are two reforms specifically designed to give 
blacks some of the advantages of the greater freedom of 
movement in pursuit of the urban happiness enjoyed by 
whites. One is a voluntary community initiative — opening 
the existing housing supply to blacks, and the other is a 
government action - decongesting the expressways by pe- 
nalizing passenger-less drivers and by building the Cross- 
town to break the Dan Ryan-Kennedy bottleneck. 

Although of greatest benefit to Chicago blacks, these 
two actions would benefit whites and suburbanites as well. 
By removing existing barriers to the mobility of workers, 
we permit a more natural development of service industry 
in the suburbs, and we speed up the worktrip for all. 

Many feel that restrictive zoning in the suburbs is the 
main obstacle to the suburbanization of blacks and many 
think that the expressway is public enemy number one in 
the matter of clean air, traffic-congestion, a solvent CTA, 
and Chicago’s job drain. However, by far the main deterrent 
to bfacks moving to the suburbs is their belief that they are 
not welcome there. All cities are experiencing identical 
increases in automobile commuting, declines in public 
transportation, and losses of jobs to the suburbs regardless 
pf whether expressways were built or not. These develop- 
ments have occurred because the urban sprawl of new jobs 
and homes is not accessible by public transportation, and it 
cannot support a transit system because of low densities 
and dispersion. 

So long as citizens and politicians maintain these myths 
and smokescreens of liberal ideology, so long will attention 
and action on real solutions be distracted and delayed. 




FOCUS I Midwest 


■ 



The status of 

integration 

in suburban Chicago 

Much has been said in recent years about the extent of 
participation of the black community in the benefits of 
middle class urban society. The continuing segregation of 
blacks within the nation’s large cities, and their exclusion 
from the suburbs seems incontestable by the sheer weight 
of statistical evidence. For Chicago’s metropolitan area, for 
example, 90 percent of the blacks are confined within the 
central city, about the same proportion as ten years ago. 
Within Chicago itself, 78 percent of the blacks live in neigh- 
borhoods that are 90 percent or better black, a higher pro- 
portion than ten years ago. 

Yet, from the same set of statistics, people can draw 
apparently contradictory conclusions about the relatively 
narrow issue of black suburbanization in the 1960 decade. 
Witness the following examples for the Chicago area. 

■ “The proportion of Negroes in the suburbs jumped by 
one-fourth in the last ten years (from 2.9 to 3.6%)” 

■ “The proportion of Negroes in the suburbs crept up by a 
fraction of one percent point in ten years (from 2.9 to 

3.6%)” 

■ “In the 1960’s Negro population grew twice as fast as 
white population in the suburbs (66 versus 34%)” 

■ “If we exclude 15 industrial suburbs and satellites, Chi- 
cago’s suburbs have fewer Negroes today than ten years 
ago (0.7 versus 0.9%)” 

■ “Negro population grew twice as fast in the suburbs as in 
Chicago in the 1960’s (66 versus 36%)” 

■ “Ninety percent of the metropolitan area blacks live in 
Chicago, about the same proportion as in 1960” 

No Change for Blacks 

From time to time, readers of Chicago’s Sunday supple- 
ments are regaled with success stories of open housing agen- 
cies helping a handful of black families buy a home in a 
posh suburb. But a close reading of 1960-70 census changes 
should disabuse anyone of the notion that racial barriers are 
being lifted in the suburbs. Eighty-three percent of Chi- 
cago’s black suburban population of 128,300 lives in most- 
ly segregated neighborhoods in 15 of the area’s 237 subur- 
ban municipalities (see Table 1). The entire 10-year gain 
of 50,800 suburban blacks occurred in these 15 suburbs. 
Thus, over 99 percent of the 1.1 million blacks of metro- 
politan Chicago live in 16 of the area’s 238 municipalities, 
and the 10-year gain of 280,000 blacks in the area was 
contained within these same 1 6 places. 

The largest black suburban settlements are in Evanston, 
Harvey, and Maywood, each with over 10,000 blacks. We 
have plotted on a map the 1960 and 1970 distribution of 
Evanston blacks, and the 1970 distribution of Harvey and 

Volume 9 , Number 61 


Maywood blacks. The maps reveal a pattern of segregation 
and contiguous expansion very similar to that prevailing in 
Chicago’s ghettos. 

Looking at the 237 other suburbs, most of these showed 
lower black percentages in 1970, and 17, mostly posh, sub- 
urbs actually lost blacks as aged domestics died during the 
decade and were replaced by now more fashionable Euro- 
pean and Latin-American servants. Thus the six North 
Shore communities represented on your Conference lost 
300 blacks in the decade. (Table 2) 

As a group, the 1,350 black residents of these six North 
Shore communities have the lowest income, the moat me- 
nial occupations, and the most lopsided age and sex ratios in 
the metropolitan area. Their average income in 1970 was 
$3,500; two-thirds of the workers held domestic service 
jobs; adults outnumbered children and women outnum- 
bered men by identical ratios of 4 to 1 . 

There are also contradictory explanations of the causes 
and consequences of racial segregation. The conventional 
opinion is that economic discrimination, rather than racial 
prejudice, is the root cause of residential segregation. This 
view is perhaps best expressed by Edward C. Banfield in 
The Unheavenly City . 

What if there were no discrimation? 

One way to estimate the importance of racial prejudice 
is to ask, says Banfield, how matters would change if over- 
night housing and job discrimination on color grounds were 
to disappear. In his view, the great majority of blacks would 
“go on living in the same neighborhoods for the simple 
reason that they could not afford to move to better ones,” 
they would continue working at the same jobs, and sending 
their children to the same schools. 

Moreover, says Banfield, some Negroes would be hurt by 
the end of racial discrimination: “Most Negro professionals 
and politicians have an advantage in not having to compete 
with whites, and some who do compete with whites receive 
a premium for being black.” “By putting them into com- 
petition with (whites), the end of racial discrimination 
would, in the short run at least, hurt perhaps as many 
(blacks) as it would help.” 

Banfield concludes that if a Negro lives in an all-black 
neighborhood, the reason is not racial prejudice as such, but 
his “low income, cultural characteristics that make him an 
undesirable neighbor, and his inclination to live among his 
own kind.” Income, class, education, and place of origin, 
rather than racial prejudice, are the root causes of racial 
segregation according to Banfield. 

These views of the causation of racial segregation are 
shared by the Real Estate Research Corporation (R.E.R.C.), 
the City of Chicago’s major consultant on urban affairs. 

In the most comprehensive report ever made for the city 
on demographic trends, entitled “Economic Analysis of 
Housing and Commercial Property Markets in the City of 
Chicago, 1960-1975,” R.E.R.C. writes as follows: 

“Massive” neighborhood population transition is the only 
practical way to accommodate rapid growth of large low in- 
come and lower middle income groups in the population. All 
other conceivable methods of providing housing for these 
fast-growing groups are simply not feasible. Members of these 
groups cannot move into new housing in the city or the sub- 
urbs because they cannot afford it. Random scattering of 
individual families in many neighborhoods, true, would elim- 
inate “massive” neighborhood transition. However, it is im- 
practical for the following reasons: 

(1) Members wish to live together with other people like 
themselves; hence they would not voluntarily adopt a ran- 
domized residential location pattern. 

(2) These families cannot afford housing accommodations 
in many middle income or higher income neighborhoods. 

Page Thirteen 


The only two other alternatives are equally impractical. 
“Leap-frogging” movements would give rise to neighborhood 
population transition in various enclaves in our outer por- 
tions of the city or the suburbs. Thus the location of transi- 
tion would be shifted, but transition itself would not be 
eliminated. Finally, restriction of members of these groups to 
the areas they now occupy is totally unacceptable because 
this policy is both illegal and morally unacceptable because it 
is discriminatory. 

Thus economic segregation, voluntary segregation and 
involuntary segregation based on racial discrimination are 
the three major explanations for the intense concentration 
of blacks in Chicago and other American cities. Economic 
segregation would presuppose that blacks in Chicago are a 
homogeneous group, e.g., that they are all poor and all 
depend on rapid transit facilities and that the communities 
they move into are homogeneous and economically com- 
patible, e.g., that they have low-cost housing and rapid 
transportation. 

The evidence, however, does not support these asser- 
tions. Indeed, blacks cover almost as wide a range of socio- 
economic status as whites. The only homogeneous com- 
munities in Chicago are high income single-family housing 
areas occupied by whites. Communities occupied by blacks 
are very heterogeneous and have very little low-cost hous- 
ing. 

In 1970, the overwhelming majority of Negroes (90%) 
lived in the city, and the substantial majority of whites 
lived in the suburbs (61%). At the low end of the socio- 
economic scale, Chicago remains home for 64 percent of 
the metropolitan area unemployed, 76 percent of the 
Spanish-speaking, 85 percent of the welfare recipients, and 
90 percent of the, blacks. At the other end of the social 
scale, Chicago contain^ but 29 percent of all metropolitan 
area families earning over $25,000 a year, 29 percent of the 
college graduates, and 25 percent of the white public school 
children. < 

The seven most centralized racial and ethnic groups are 
non-white and Spanish-speaking. European ethnics make up 
the least centralized groups. 

Though income does influence the tendency to live in 
Chicago for white families, it makes practically no differ- 
ence for blacks. Although this income group ought to be 
able to afford housing in any part of the metropolitan area, 
86 percent of black families earning over $50,000 a year 
live in Chicago. In contrast, families earning under $3,000 a 
year might be considered hard put to locate in the suburbs. 
Yet 42 percent of white families in this income category 
live in the suburbs. 

Other racial groups exhibit the same tendency to central- 
ize despite higher, than average socioeconomic status. 
Among the races, the Japanese have the highest average 
family income ($13,500 versus $12,600 for whites), the 
Chinese have the highest priced homes ($31,400 versus 
$25,200 for whites), and the Filipinos are the best educated 
(16.5 median school years versus 12.4 for whites). Yet 71 
percent of Chicago area Japanese, 74 percent of the Chi- 
nese, and 80 percent of the Filipinos live in the city of 
Chicago, compared to 39 percent of Chicago area whites. 

Of course, economic segregation helps shut blacks out of 
the suburbs. Blacks make up 25 percent of the renters and 
6 percent of the home owners in metropolitan Chicago. The 
higher the housing cost, the lower the percent of black 
occupants. Thus blacks occupy but 5 percent of the apart- 
ments renting over $200 a month and only one percent of 
the homes valued at $35,000 or more. 

This kind of economic segregation has been fostered in 
the suburbs by municipal zoning practices and other land 
development controls to hold down population density and 
to keep out middle and lower income families whose hous- 
ing would not yield enough property tax base to pay for 

Page Fourteen 


TABLE t: Black Population In 15 Interracial Suburbs In the Chicago SMSA: 1970 and 1960 



Total Population 

Black Population 

% Change 
1960-70 

% Population 
Black 


1970 

1960 

1970 

I960 

Total 

Pop. 

Black 

Pop. 

1970 

1990 

COOK 

Chfc*9<> Heights 

34,331 

4.735 

40.900 

7.1CO 

6,529 

19.1 

8.7 

17.4 

19.0 

Oixmoor 

3,076 

3.071 

1,855 

53.9 

65.9 

64.9 

60.3 

E. Chicago Heights 

5.000 

3,270 

4.855 

2.794 

52.9 

73.8 

97.1 

85.4 

Evanston 

79.800 

79,283 

12.049 

9,126 

0.7 

40.7 

16.1 

11.5 

Harvey 

34.636 

29,071 

10.711 

1.986 

19.1 

437.7 

30.9 

6.8 

Markham 

15,907 

11.704 

7,981 

2,505 

36.6 

219.2 

49.9 

21.4 

Maywood 

30.036 

27.330 

12.416 

5.229 

6.5 

137.1 

41.3 

19.1 

Phoenix 

3,596 

4,203 

3,151 

2.744 

14.4 

15.0 

87.6 

65.3 

Robbins 

9.641 

7.511 

9.436 

7,410 

28.4 

27.4 

97.9 

98.7 

KANE 

Aurora 

74,182 

63,715 

4.867 

2.227 

1.595 

16 4 

1 18.5 

6.6 

3.4 

Elgin 

55,691 

49.447 

2,671 

12.6 

67.4 

4.8 

3.2 

LAKE 

North Chicago 

47,275 

22.938 

7.836 

4.577 

106.1 

71.2 

16.6 

22.4 

Waukegan 

65,269 

55.719 

8,421 

4,485 

17.1 

87.7 

12.9 

7.9 

Zion 

17.268 

11,941 

2,345 

564 

44.6 

315.8 

13.6 

4.8 

WILL. 

Joliet 

00.378 

66.780 

9,507 

4.638 

18.2 

105.0 

11.8 

6.9 

Total: 

557.833 


107.217 

56.264 

17.0 

84.1 

19.2 

1 2.2 


TABLE 2: Black Population in Six North Shore Communities: 1970 and 1960 







% 

Change 

% Population 


T otal Population 

Black Population 

1960-70 

Black 







Total 

Black 




1970 

1960 

1970 

1960 

Pop. 

Pop. 

1970 

I960 

Gteneoo 

10.675 

10,472 

539 _ 

~ 655" 

” iT? 

_ .17?9 

5~1 

6.3 

Highland Park 

32.263 

25,532 

574 

504 

26.4 

13.9 

1.0 

2.0 

Kenilworth 

2,980 

2.959 

27 

39 

0.7 

•30.8 

0.9 

1.3 

Northfietd 

5,010 

4.005 

14 

28 

25.1 

-50.0 

0.3 

0.6 

Wilmette 

32.134 

28.268 

81 

156 

13.7 

-48.1 

0.3 

0.5 

Winnetka 

13,998 

13,368 

117 

252 

5.7 

*53.6 

0.8 

1.9 

8 Suburbs 

97.060 

84,304 

1,352 

1.631 

15.1 

-17.1 

1.4 

1.9 


local services. Economic segregation has also been fostered 
by subdivision builders who produce large housing develop- 
ments in the same price range because of the house buyer’s 
preference for homogeneous class neighborhoods. 

The latest open housing or so-called fair-share plan for 
the Chicago metropolitan area announced October 1, 
1973 is to be commended for its intentions, but faulted 
for its very limited goals and cautious language. The plan 
boldly documents the need for 229,400 additional low 
and moderate income housing units but meekly settles for 
10,000 such units. It bravely calls attention to the dire 
need for more job-linked housing created by 500,000 new 
suburban jobs in the last 10 years, but assigns first .prior- 
ity to “the housing needs of people already living in each 
community, especially the elderly.” It is presumed that 
most of the 10,000 units will be allocated to the 63,000 
low income elderly households in the suburbs. 


The Fair Share Plan 

Nevertheless, the Regional Housing Coalition’s fair share 
plan is the most practical and politically feasible strategy so 
far proposed for metropolitan Chicago. 

The very language of the plan, especially the change in 
language between first and final draft, are instructive about 
political sensitivities since a steering committee of 1 3 subur- 
ban mayors and village presidents helped mold the final 
document. “Fair share” was struck out in favor of “Inter- 
im” Plan, the “Metropolitan” became the “Regional” Hous- 
ing Coalition, and “Metropolitan Chicago” became North- 
eastern Illinois. 

Although blacks are the major victims of the shortage of 
job-linked housing addressed by the Plan, the words 
“blacks” and “Negroes” do not appear anywhere in the 
34-page document. The housing needs of Chicago’s million 
blacks are expressed in oblique phrases like — “a great need 
for more and better housing exists for people who now live 
within the City of Chicago and will continue to live there.” 
People who live and work in Chicago are not listed among 
the groups in need of the new suburban housing, even 
though it could easily be demonstrated that tens of thou- 
sands of Chicago blacks are shut out of suburban jobs by 
being shut out of suburban housing. 


FOCUS /Midwest 


Table 4: Black Population in Chicago and the Surburban Ring: 1970 and 1960 

% 

Total Population Black Population IS 


% Change 
1960-70 


% Population 
Black 



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It may be fairly assumed from these changes and omis- 
sions in language that suburban politicians regard words like 
“fair share,” “metropolitan,” “Chicago,” “blacks,” and 
“Negroes” as undesirable, at least from the point of view of 
the suburban municipal councils and their electorates. Yet, 
even with the mincing of inflammatory words like “fair” 
and “Chicago,” with the emphasis on housing needs of local 
elderly residents, and with the modest goal of 10,000 hous- 
ing units spread throughout the metropolitan area — strike 
that — the six-county region, this plan will have a tough 
time gaining the endorsement of municipal councils. Most 
councils m^y not even put the plan to a vote, and others 
may take the easy way out by submitting it to a referen- 
dum, and almost certain defeat, so strong is the suburban 
instinct to protect the socioeconomic status quo and the 
suburban opposition to economic integration. 

The Mood in Glencoe 

We need look no further than Glencoe — a community 
with a liberal reputation in the heart of your North Shore 
Conference — to gauge the intensity of suburban opposition 
to economic integration. In July 1973, Glencoe’s village 
government, faced with a request for a zoning change to 
permit the construction of 170 moderate income units to 
house the local elderly, surveyed the electorate through a 
mail questionnaire asking for views on a number of zonmg 
changes designed to increase housing density. Of the 2,483 
who answered, 87 percent were against expanding areas 
presently zoned for multiple housing, and 94 percent were 
opposed to increasing existing housing densities. Indeed, 60 
percent were in favor of reducing present densities. On the 
specific issue of raising the present 2-story height limit to 
permit the proposed elderly housing project, 91 percent 
were opposed to five stories, 76 percent were opposed to 
four stories, and 70 percent were opposed to any change. 
Even to the question of facilitating subsidized rental hous- 
ing within the present zoning laws, an overwhelming major- 
ity of 81 percent voted no. However, on the positive side, 3 
percent of the respondents said they would be m favor or 
facilitating such housing within the present zoning laws l 
no more than a grand total of 75 units were involved. 

Thus, not only is economic segregation a secondary lac- 
tor in the exclusion of blacks from the suburbs, but white 
suburbs are also dead set on opposing any attempts o 
break down zoning restrictions and other legal P r otec 1 5 )ns 
against the incursion of lower income people, whetl y e .^ ey 
be oldsters or young parents and their school chil ren, 
whether they be black or white. 

Is There “Voluntary Segregation?” 

So much for economic segregation as a factor m ® x P 
ing the intensive residential concentration of blacks, 
about voluntary segregation? Can the natural inclina 
members of a racial or ethnic group to live among t eir 
kind explain the packing of blacks in Chicago s m *} er JY 
ghettos? Voluntary segregation would presuppose that the 
desire of blacks to live together is so strong that it over- 
comes economic and all other factors that argue agains a 
ghetto concentration unknown to and unwanted by any 
other ethnic group. As a practical example, it would mean 
that blacks believe so fiercely in black separatism that they 
voluntarily put up with slum housing, bad schools, fleeing 
industry, high crime rates, and all the other features of 
black ghettos. 

The relegation of a million of our citizens to black res- 
ervations” in Chicago results in the rapid exodus of teach- 
ers, doctors, stores, and industries from these communities. 
A few years after a community has become all black, all 
residents that can possibly do so move out. Hard core va- 
cancies settle down in what were previously sound hotels, 


stores, hospitals, and industrial plants. The vacant struc- 
tures and the political vacuum resulting from this exodus 
are rapidly filled by street gangs and street gang law. Most 
of the other dwellings and structures become occupied by 
tenants who must over use or misuse the space because of 
insufficient income. Sheer physical survival becomes the 
major priority for residents in the worst of the new slums — 
staying alive, unbeaten, unrobbed, unsick. Living conditions 
offered by public assistance programs and institutions — 
public housing, Cook County Hospital, and Cook County 
Jail — have to be made unbearable to prevent thousands of 
people from deliberately losing their jobs, becoming sick, or 
getting jailed to escape their living hells and gain the relative 
safety and comfort of public institutions. 

Rapes and murders are so infrequent in white commun- 
ities that these events make the headlines. These are daily 
and weekly routines in the black community. 

In even the best ghettos — where the city’s leading 
blacks in politics, business, sports, and entertainment must 
live — survival is a problem. Gang intimidation of school 
children is an ever-present danger. Only the incidence of 
crime is somewhat less in these more fortunate commun- 
ities. Murders are monthly rather than weekly occurrences. 

Forcing people to live in communities they cannot 
afford, to overcrowd the housing and the schools, and to 
misuse the commercial facilities is a major factor in the 
breakdown of community life and the take-over by street 
gangs. The collapse of public and voluntary services and 
institutions in racially changing communities is another 
factor. All the footloose professional and industrial people 
make their escape soon after a community starts becoming 
black. The teachers and the doctors are in the vanguard of 
white professionals fleeing the community after it receives 
its first blacks. Institutions that must stay like police and 
the schools simply maintain a presence but become ineffec- 
tive or oppressive. The police are regarded as a military 
occupation force that is at once too repressive and too 
permissive, and the schools are considered as jails, although 
perhaps more dangerous and stupefying. Education and 
socializing are the functions of public schools in a white 
community. Commitment to a public school in a black 
community condemns the inmate to a yearly loss of one 
point in his I.Q. and a lifetime membership in a street gang. 

Yet, Chicago’s incredibly concentrated black ghettoiza- 
tion is defended by many people including city officials and 
their consultants on housing policy as the “only practical 
way to accommodate rapid growth of large low income and 
lower middle income groups in the population” on counts 
of both economic and voluntary segregation. 


Blacks Do Not Like Ghettoes 
The proposition that blacks live in segregated areas be- 
cause of inability to afford better housing is an insult to the 
intelligence and an affront to the sense of justice of blacks 
who are forced to pay as much as or more than whites for 
housing that is generally unsuited to their needs. Blacks are 
shut out of communities with many better housing and job 
opportunities and relegated to communities that whites are 
willing to give up, at least until the bulldozer comes around. 

The proposition that blacks prefer to live in crime-ridden 
ghettos and slum school districts flies in the face of attitude 
survey after survey showing that blacks prefer to live in 
integrated communities and are more concerned than 
whites about street crime and quality of schools. Voluntary 
segregation is also given the lie by the continuing exodus of 
blacks from the hard core ghetto to adjoining middle-class 
communities being vacated by whites. 

On strict economic grounds, hundreds of thousands of 
blacks could move closer to the more plentiful jobs and 

Page Seventeen 


Volume 9, Number 61 


better schools in the suburbs. They are prevented from 
doing so by the knowledge that they are unwelcome in the 
suburbs. 

Strategies that aim at opening up the suburbs to black 
residents must confront the reality that it is racial pre- 
judice that is the main obstacle. Also any open housing 
plan that goes by the name of “fair share” must establish 
more realistically the suburban housing needs of blacks. 
To understand these needs one must first separate racial 
from economic segregation in the exclusion of blacks 
from suburban housing. 

Measuring Racial and Economic Segregation 

In 1970, 345,000 (15%) of the six-counties 2,183,600 
households were black. Four-fifths of the black households 
were renters and one-fifth owned their own homes. One- 
fourth of the area’s rental units and 6 percent of the owned 
housing were occupied by blacks. In the examples cited 
earlier of Arlington Heights and DuPage County, we noted 
that those proportions vary widely by cost of housing. In 
Table 3, we see that about a third of the medium priced 
apartments (from $60 to $150) are rented by blacks. But 
they rent only 5 percent of the housing above $200 in rent. 
Blacks own about 1 1 percent of the housing priced below 
$20,000, but only 5 percent of units from $20,000 to 
$35,000 and one percent of the homes priced above 
$35,000. 

Our method of determining how blacks would be redis- 
tributed throughout the metropolitan area in a color-blind 
housing market is to apply the proportions of black occu- 
pancy shown in Table 3 to the housing stock of each 
municipality and Chicago community area stratified by the 
same rent and price ranges. This theoretical 

exercise should result in shifting about two-thirds of the 
actual black population from a dozen suburbs and 32 
Chicago community areas whose actual percentage black is 
above the calculated proportions to the other 190 suburbs 
and 44 community areas. Two maps contrast their actual 
and potential black population. Presently the 277 commun- 
ities are either all white or predominantly black, whereas in 


TABLE 3. Cost of Housing For Black Households in the 
Chicago SMSA: 1970 



All 

Black 

% 


Households 

Households 

Black 

Gross Rent 

less than $40 

4,194 

689 

16.4 

40-59 

28,693 

7,416 

25.8 

60-79 

74,483 

23,101 

31.0 

80-99 

134,697 

39,502 

29.3 

100-149 

426,862 

131,487 

30.8 

150-199 

224,292 

42,414 

18.9 

200 or more 

100,076 

4,976 

5.0 

Median 

$130 

$122 


total 

1,019,485 

251,714 

24.7 

Home Value 

less than $5,000 

2,864 

416 

14.5 

$5,000-10,000 

21,634 

2,340 

10.8 

$10,000-15,000 

77,358 

8,666 

11.2 

$15,000-20,000 

183,271 

20,430 

11.1 

$20,000-35,000 

449,365 

20,808 

4.6 

$35,000 or more 

185,663 

1,702 

0.9 

median 

$24,300 

$19,000 


total 

920,155 

54,362 

5.9 


a color-blind housing market no community would have 
less than one percent nor more than one-fourth black 
population. 

Following are the ten suburbs whose housing keeps most 
blacks out on strictly economic grounds. 




% black 



% black 



potential 



potential 

1 . 

Olympia Fields 

1.3 

6. 

Barrington Hills 2.5 

2. 

Lincolnshire 

1.6 

7. 

Northbrook 

2.8 

3. 

Kenilworth 

2.1 

8. 

Glencoe 

2.8 

4. 

Lin coin wood 

2.2 

9. 

Oak Brook 

2.9 

5. 

Flossmoor 

2.3 

10. 

Northfield 

3.1 


Six of the ten most exclusive suburbs are on the North 
Shore, while eight of the ten suburbs potentially most 
accessible to blacks are south and southeast. 

About 66 percent of blacks would be redistributed in a 
society free of discrimination. If we were to forget about 
standardizing housing expenditure and simply redistribute 
black population so that each of the 277 communities 
would have identical shares of 16 percent blacks, 90 per- 
cent of the area’s blacks would have to be shifted. These 
two figures — the 90 percent and the 66 percent — are 
measures of racial versus economic segregation. In the range 
between 0 and 100 — no segregation and total segregation 
— segregation in Chicago area communities is at the 90th 
percentile. In these 90 percent points, racial discrimination 
accounts for 66 and economic segregation contributes 24. 
Thus about three-fourths of racial segregation is due to 
racial prejudice and one-fourth to income. 

Only 230 Years 

Even if the Regional Housing Coalition’s Fair Share Plan 
were to be approved by the suburbs, developers found and 
the FHA 235 and 236 programs reinstated, blacks might 
receive one-tenth or 1,000 of the 10,000 housing units 
planned for 1974. If this one-year plan were to become 
ongoing, and 1,000 units were to be built yearly, it would 
take about 230 years to make up the deficit of 230,000 
black housing units revealed by the color-blind housing 
market redistribution. 

Open housing strategies directed at increasing the supply 
of suburban housing for blacks by way of federally sub- 
sidized programs like Titles 235 and 236 not only tend to 
exaggerate the factor of economic segregation but also tend 
to look at new construction as a better source of minority 
housing than existing housing. Yet in any year there are 3 
to 10 existing houses and apartments available for occu- 
pancy for every single housing unit of new construction. 
Thus in 1970 there was a turnover of 387,000 housing units 
of which 350,000 were existing units and merely 37,000 
newly constructed units. 

Instead of relying on new construction of federally sub- 
sidized housing, the planners should rely on the yearly 
turnover of 350,000 units in the existing housing market. 
Instead of trying to break the firm resistance of suburbs to 
economic integration, blacks should be permitted to enjoy 
the freedom of whites to locate in exclusive communities. 
If economically homogeneous and exclusive communities 
are indispensable for white suburbanites, they should be 
indispensable for blacks, too. ■■ 


Pierre de Vise , a frequent contributor to FOCUS /Midwest, is project 
director of the Chicago Regional Hospital Study . 


Page Eighteen 


FOCUS /Midwest 


AND THEN THERE WAS SILENCE 


St. Louis responds to 
Rand Report: u Booh ,y 


Statistics compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. 
Louis showed that 1973 employment in the St. Louis area 
remained stagnant, while the national total rose 3.7 per- 
cent. During the years 1969-1973, employment actually 
declined year by year. 

Many other economic indices point to a constant if not 
all-pervasive decline. William H. Kester, financial editor of 
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch , cites the decline in the real 
volume of retail sales, the physical volume of retail stores, 
and the lagging rate of bank loans and deposits which were 
far below the national average. 

Although unemployment in East St. Louis dropped from 
8.1 percent in 1971 to 7.6 percent in 1972 and 6.5 percent 
in 1973, the corresponding rate for Chicago shows how 
hard the economic decline has hit the area. Unemployment 
in Chicago has declined from 4.3 percent in 1971 to 4.5 
percent in 1972 and to 3.6 percent in 1973. 

In view of this and other evidence, which must be well 
known to St. Louis business and political leaders, it was 
amazing to hear the indignant outcries when the Rand 
Corporation published a comprehensive report, “St. Louis: 
A City and Its Suburbs.” 

Fortunately for St. Louis, the study was financed by the 
National Science Foundation and thus was made available 
to the public. In this issue we reprint the report in full, 
including some cumbersome statistics. FOCUS/Midwest be- 
lieves, however, that it is better to have all of the data 
available before judging the study, than to condemn it with- 
out even having read it, as a St. Louis Alderman did. 

We wonder what would have happened to the report if a 
St. Louis concern had financed the report. Most likely its 
fate would have been similar to that of the well-buried 
United Fund study, ordered and paid for by the United 
Fund, which most members of the United Fund board have 
never seen. 

The unthinking response that “the report is misleading 
and almost worthless” {St. Louis Globe-Democrat , Oct. 
27-28, 1947, p. 2E) typifies the business attitude which is 
partly responsible for the decline in the first place. It shows 
the lack of courage to face the real state of the economy. It 
shows the conservatism of the business community particu- 
larly the banking industry. It shows the unwillingness to 
explore new avenues of growth and, by implication, it con- 
demns the city to be dependent upon revenues from feder- 
al, state, and regional sources. 


St. Louis businessmen, who control the day to day life 
of the city, unerringly assume that control also implies 
knowledge. The New York Times quotes Ethan A. Shepley 
Jr., president of Downtown St. Louis, most aptly, “It’s 
made me so mad, it’s made so many people damn mad, that 
it’s probably been a beneficial thing.” Such a response 
doesn’t sound too astute when applied to a year-long study 
by a world-renowned research organization. Even the St. 
Louis Board of Aldermen had to show their ostrich-like 
attitude by passing a resolution thanking the Rand Corpora- 
tion for “studying the city of St. Louis and fashioning its 

obituary.” . , , 

St. Louis County politicians were less defensive. Indeed, 
many candidly admitted the validity of the study. This un- 
usual display of candor may have been occasioned by the 
delusion that the future of the county is distinct from that 
of the city because jurisdictionally and politically they are 
separate - besides they will not have to run for office in 
the city. 

Lawrence K. Roos, supervisor of St. Louis County and 
chairman of the East-West Gateway Coordinating Council, 
made these comments in his “State of the Region 


“ _ total employment has been declining at a distress- 
ing rate for several years while the Nation’s metropoli- 

tan areas increased their population at an average rate of 17 
percent, the population of the Greater St. Louis area in- 
creased only 12 percent capital investment in new 

plant and equipment occurred here at less than half the 
national rate. ... [the] public transportation system is at 
best marginally adequate. ... we have air and water pollu- 
tion and waste disposal problems on a grand scale." 

Whether St. Louis will become merely another suburb 
among the nearly 100 municipalities in the surrounding St. 
Louis County and continue to be among the most troubled 
cities in America, is a question which may go beyond the 
availability of resources, and construction of airports and 
highways. It may depend upon the joining of wills by the 
diverse interests not only by those leading the city but also 
by those who are being led. 

We have heard denunciations from spokesmen of the 
business community, at least for a week or two when the 
“Rand" report was a hot subject. We have heard qualified 
endorsements from spokesmen in the academic community. 
And then there was silence. 


Volume 9, Number 61 


Page Nineteen 



ST. LOUIS: A CITY AND ITS SOBUKK 

BARBARA R. WILLIAMS 


This report was sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Reports of 
The Rand Corporation do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies 
of the sponsors of Rand research. It is reprinted with the permission of the 
Rand Corporation. The report is reprinted in full except for two mathe- 
matical models. We regret that some of the tables had to be considerably 
reduced in order to include them. 


Page Twenty 


FOCUS /Midwest 



PREFACE 

This report summarizes the results and implications of a year of analytical work 
concerning the decline of St. Louis as the central city of a metropolitan area, the 
implications for the city’s future, and policy strategies for improving these future 
prospects. Although the work is primarily that of The Rand Corporation, vital 
assistance was provided by faculty members at three major universities in the St. 
Louis area: Washington University, St. Louis University, and the University of 
Missouri, St. Louis. The work was supported by the National Science Foundation. 
The project was one of a series of three urban studies that also includes an analysis 
of causes, effects, and control of two decades of explosive growth in San Jose, and 
adaptation^ to acute aerospace recession in Seattle. 

This report is oriented primarily toward the policy implications of the St. Louis 
analysis, and is intended for use by policymakers concerned with the future of the 
area. 

SUMMARY 

This report summarizes the research findings and policy implications of a series 
of studies conducted under the St. Louis project of the Rand Urban Policy Analysis 
Program. The analysis in St. Louis has been directed toward evaluating alternatives 
for decisionmakers at local, state, and federal levels who must deal with urban 
decline. 

The central concern in St. Louis is the city’s significant decline in population 
and economic activity that occurred in the 1960s, and the rapid rate of building and 
neighborhood abandonment that accompanied it. Because abandonment itself might 
open possibilities for new development, the report asks what those possibilities are, 
how probable their achievement is, and how policymakers might encourage the 
realization of desired changes. Three possible futures for the city are posed, con- 
tinued decline; stabilization in a new role as an increasingly black suburb; and 
return to a former role as the center of economic activity in the metropolitan area. 
As things stand, the most likely prognosis is for continued decline. Given outside 
revenue sources, however, the city of St. Louis might assume a new role as a large 
suburb among many other suburbs, making the transition easier for its population 
and institutions. 


ORIGINS OF ST. LOUIS’S PRESENT SITUATION 

• Decline in St. Louis is mainly a function of the same trends that havestimu 
lated movement from central cities to suburbs across the United States.^ e as 
paced decentralization of all American urban areas since World War as n 
stimulated mainly by the desire for living amenities and productive act ities a 
could be provided most easily and cheaply at the periphery of cities. Rising incomes 
and improved transportation systems have facilitated the move to t e su ur s. 

Certain federal policies — real estate tax incentives, interstate highway eve op- 
ment, FHA and VA mortgage programs — have accelerated these tren s. 

• However ; St. Louis differs from some central cities in manifesting mpi an 
absolute declines in central city population and business activity. a is, rapi 
metropolitan growth has brought explosive suburban development to some ^eri 
can urban areas — mostly in the West and parts of the South without in ucmg ig 

rates of abandonment in their central cities. 

• St. Louis's unusual rate of decline has come about because many p enomena 
that appear to accelerate central city decline in older metropolitan areas com me in 
unusual strength there. Many central cities of the East and Mid west contain a arge 
stock of housing and industrial capital that is old and expensive to maintain an 
restore, further increasing the advantages of suburban location. This is particu ar y 
evident in St. Louis, a large portion of which was urbanized before 1900. 

The large amounts of flat farmland around St. Louis also made decentra ization 
easier. Such land was readily developed for industrial and residential uses. 

St. Louis is a small city of 61 square miles. Its political boundaries, frozen since 
1876, have prevented the city from expanding its resource base as its proportion of 
disadvantaged residents increased. 

Volume 9. Number 61 P °“ Twenty-One 


Large in-migrations of groups that vary from the existing population — such as 
rural, low-income families — appear to hasten the departure of more affluent families 
to the suburbs. St. Louis has been an important portof entry into urban life for rural 
migrants. The fact that many of these migrants are black seems to have precipitated 
the rapid departure of whites from particular neighborhoods; however, our research 
suggests that departures of people from the city are more class-related than race- 
related. At most income levels, blacks and whites left at about the same rate during 
the 1960s. 


PROGNOSES FOR ST. LOUIS 

The report argues that without major policy changes beyond the local level, the 
city will most likely continue to decline. It is unlikely either to become a stable, 
increasingly black suburb or to return to its former central economic function. Several 
demographic and economic trends induce this conclusion: 

• Heavy and prolonged out-migration of the city’s younger white residents has 
left behind an elderly population in which death rates exceed birth rates. Growth 
of the white population therefore depends on massive in-migration — an improbable 
development. 

• While the city’s black population continues to grow through natural in- 
crease, it began to decline in 1969, indicating a net migratory loss severe enough to 
offset its natural increase. 

• The city and its suburbs received unequal shares of metropolitan economic 
growth during the 1960s, with most industrial sectors declining in the city and all 
industrial sectors growing in the suburbs. If industrial location trends during the 
last half of the 1960s continue for another five years, St. Louis County* will contain 
that share of metropolitan business activity usually characteristic of a central city. 

Neither a survey of industrial developers in the area, a 1967 survey of people’s 
expressed preferences for residential location in the area, nor more episodic evi- 
dence about industrial and residential location since 1970 supported the hypothesis 
that past decline has created new conditions in the city that will mitigate or even 
reverse past trends. 

The city has not "bottomed out” so that large blocks of inexpensive empty land 
will readily stimulate new forms of investment. Rather, land remains relatively 
expensive to develop in the city. Nor have reduced numbers of people and businesses 
made public goods and services unequivocally easier to provide. Indeed, metropoli- 
tan decentralization has reduced the city’s share of more affluent residents and 
increased its share of disadvantaged ones. Economic growth, as well, has gravitated 
to the suburbs. Thus, public revenues have become progressively more difficult to 
generate locally.. New resources, available to the city from sources outside the city, 
are essential to any improvement. 


ALTERNATIVE STRATEGIES FOR THE FUTURE 

Just as local policies did not cause the decline, local policies cannot readily 
change the trends and characteristics that did cause it and are still operative. The 
analysis suggests that, among the alternatives open to the city, promoting a new role 
for St. Louisas one of many large suburban centers of economic and residential life 
holds more promise than reviving the traditional central city functions. 

One strategy for assuming a more suburban role is to entertain administrative 
or jurisdictional changes that would allow municipal services and regulations to be 
geared to varying neighborhood needs. In this way, the city’s large, heterogeneous 
population might capture some of the benefits of small homogeneous < and affluent ■ 
suburban municipalities where residents can purchase and control the public goods 
and services they want. 

To succeed, however, this strategy will require new outside resources— new 
mechanisms for generating revenues that make the poor a smaller financial burden 
for the jurisdictions where they live. Several mechanisms for doing this are offered 
for consideration: 

•The City of St. Louis is. entirely separate in area and jurisdiction from the County of St. Louis. 

Page Twenty-Two FOCUS/ Midwest 


• A more substantial federal revenue-sharing program. 

• A state revenue-sharing program to support selected public goods. 

• A metropolitan revenue program, sharing revenue generated by industry in the 
metropolitan area. 

• A metropolitan earnings tax. 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

This report has been reviewed by Stephen Crocker, Paul Jordan, John Koehler, 
Robert Levine, Don Rice, and Gus Shubert of The Rand Corporation; by Professor 
William Alonso, University of California, Berkeley; by Norman Murdoch, Director 
of the St. Louis City Plan Commission; by Dempster Holland and George Wendel of 
St. Louis University; by Peter Grandstaff, Robert Markland, and Hugh Nourse of the 
University of Missouri, St. Louis; and by James Little of Washington University. All 
of the above have helped formulate the findings reported in this document — in many 
cases by arguing against them. However, members of the St. Louis research project 
developed these findings, and the author takes full responsibility for the implica- 
tions drawn from them. 

The author wishes to thank those who carried out the analysis on which this 
report is based: Sinclair Coleman, Leola Cutler, Peter deLeon, John Enns, Cyrus 
Gardner, Peter Grandstaff, Marie Hoeppner, Dempster Holland, Charles Leven, 
James Little, Robert Markland, Peter Morrison, Hugh Nourse, Gerald Payne, Betsy 
Schmidt, Richard Slitor, and George Wendel. 


CONTENTS 


PREFACE 


20 

SUMMARY 

20 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

22 

Section 



I. 

INTRODUCTION 

24 

II. 

METHODOLOGY 

25 


Conceptional Design 

25 


Research Design 

27 

III. 

RESEARCH FINDINGS 

29 


Models of Urban Change 

29 


Demographic Analysis 

30 


Economic Changes 

33 


Racial Factors 

34 


Policy Accelerators to Central City Decline 

37 

IV. 

ALTERNATIVE STRATEGIES FOR THE FUTURE 

39 


Alternative Futures for St. Louis City 

39 


Living with the Future 

42 


Strategies for Local Policy 

44 

V. 

FOOTNOTES 

45 


' V. 


Volume 9, Number 61 


Page Twenty -Three 


I. INTRODUCTION 


Table 1 


COMPARISON OF NATIONAL AND ST. LOUIS 
SMSA ECONOMIC GROWTH, 1966-1970 



Average Annual 
Growth, 1966-1970 <Z) 

Item 

u.s. 

*St. Louis SMSA 

Total employment • 

1.9 

1.0 

Total income 

2.8 

2.2 

Per capita 
disposable Income 

3.2 

1.4 


SOURCE: Data provided by Regional 
Economics Information System, Bureau of 
Economic Analysis, Office of Business 
Economics, UJS. Department of Commerce; 
and from Economic Reports of the Pres- 
ident 1971. 


Page Twenty-Four 


The St. Louis Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area 1 encompasses the City of 
St. Louis and six counties lying on both sides of the Mississippi River: St. Louis, St. 
Charles, Franklin, and Jefferson Counties in Missouri, and St. Clair and Madison 
Counties in Illinois. 2 Most of the SMSA lies in Missouri, three-fifths of it west of the 
City of St. Louis; the Mississippi forms the eastern boundary of its central city. The 
City of St. Louis is entirely separate in area and jurisdiction from the County of St. 
Louis. The area surrounding metropolitan St. Louis is semirural, dotted with medi- 
um-sized towns. The closest metropolitan area of comparable size is Kansas City, 
about 275 miles away. 

In 1970, the population of the St. Louis SMSA was about two and a half million. 
From 1960 to 1970 it had increased by only 12 percent, a rate lower than the average 
national metropolitan increase of 17 percent. Economic growth in the area has also 
been slow. As shown in Table 1, in the late 1960s the St. Louis area lagged behind 
the rest of the nation in growth of total income, per capita income, and employment. 

The City and County of St. Louis together contain about three-quarters of the 
SMSA's population — 622,000 in the city and 951,000 in the county. 3 A strong and 
persistent westward progression in the area's settlement pattern has steadily 
drained St. Louis's share of area population and economic activity. From 1960 to 
1970, the city's population declined 17 percent while the suburban population in- 
creased by nearly a third; jobs declined close to 15 percent in the city but nearly 
doubled in the suburbs. 

Stark reminders of the city’s demographic and economic losses are 2200 vacant 
and vandalized buildings, occupying an average of one-tenth of an acre each. Under- 
standably, St. Louis believes it is plagued by that set of problems widely lumped 
together as "the urban crisis”: a declining tax base, rising costs for providing ser- 
vices, a high crime rate, a problematic school system, high unemployment, racial 
inequities, and a spectacular rate of building and neighborhood abandonment. 

Our analysis does not attempt to diagnose completely this formulation of the 
urban crisis. We give slight attention to problems that occur with great frequency 
not only in citiep, but in other places as well: crime, poor schooling, unemployment, 
racial inequities. Instead, we concentrate on events more peculiar to the structural 
changes cities are undergoing, exploring the implications for a central city of the 
redistribution of population and economic activity in its metropolitan area. For this 
purpose, we chose building and neighborhood abandonment in St. Louis as the 
initial focus of our study. 

Abandonment is both a symptom and a cause of problems, but by making land 
available for new uses, it also offers possibilities of new directions for the future. Our 
objectives were to determine what those possibilities are, how probable their 
achievement is, and how policymakers might encourage the realization of desired 
changes. For purposes of analysis, we pose three alternative futures for St. Louis: 
continued decline; stabilization in a new role as an increasingly black suburb; and 
return to a former role as the center of economic activity in the metropolitan area. 4 
Which of these futures is the likeliest, and how policymakers might affect future 
directions, are analyzed by examining past change and current growth potential in 
St. Louis as a guide to the future. 

The analysis has required methods and concepts from more than one discipline. 
We have tried here— as in other Rand urban studies— to assemble a broad spectrum 
of evidence bearing on the reasons for St. Louis’s current condition and prognoses 
for its future from a number of disciplines, including demography, economics, soci- 
ology, and political science. To interpret this evidence, we have used statistical 
techniques and explored various lines of argument to form a coherent picture of 
where the weight of the analysis and prognosis lies. 

The picture, in brief, suggests that decline in St. Louis is mainly a function of 
the same trends that have stimulated movement from central cities to suburbs 
across the United States. The rate of decline is more acute in St. Louis because 
several factors that accelerate decline combine in unusual strength there. The 
problems of decline, however, do not lie in the fact that population and business have 
redistributed themselves within the metropolitan area, with the city losing and its 
suburbs gaining. Rather, the problem for the city is that it wants to remain attrac- 
tive to its current residents, to its metropolitan population, and to visitors — offering 
well-maintained public goods and high levels of public services geared to a variety 

FOCUS /Midwest 


of tastes: Its resources to do this, however, are more and more diminished because 
its more affluent citizens have moved to the suburbs in massive numbers, and 
economic growth has gravitated with them. 

These two issues — metropolitan population and economic redistribution, and 
city redevelopment — are separable. However, our question is whether the redistri- 
bution has created new conditions in the city (e.g., more available land) that will 
attract new investment essential to central city redevelopment. Our analysis leads 
us to believe this is unlikely: relative to its own conditions in the past, St. Louis is 
better ofT in certain ways; relative to its suburbs in the present, St. Louis remains 
less attractive to new investment in important ways. We suggest that instead of 
focusing on the city as a geographic entity needing restoration, local policymakers 
focus on 'St. Louis’s assuming a somewhat different role, functioning more like a 
suburb or a set of suburbs within the metropolitan area. However, as with ail other 
policy directions we considered, this too requires additional revenues not now avail- 
able to the city. 

Section II of this report describes our research methodology. Section III — the 
keystone of the report — then applies the methodology: St. Louis is examined succes- 
sively in terms of demographic trends, both within the parts of the metropolitan 
area and between it and other areas; in similar economic terms, examining both the 
economy of the area and the division of the economy between the central city and 
its suburbs; in regard to racial hypotheses about urban change, such as "white 
flight”; and finally, in terms of the additional impetus to decline imparted by federal 
and local policies. 

The final section of the report turns to policy strategies for the future. These 
strategies do not take the form of specific policy recommendations for St. Louis. 
Rather, they form more of an agenda for policymakers. Time and budget constraints 
required us to be selective in the analysis of the complex syndrome of urban decline; 
important parts of the research we think necessary to decisionmaking in St. Louis 
either remain to be done or are still in process at local universities in the area/Our 
analysis has been directed toward examining alternatives for decisionmakers at 
local, state, and federal levels who must deal with urban decline. 


II. METHODOLOGY 

CONCEPTUAL DESIGN 


Initial View: Abandonment as a Problem 

Rand’s decision to focus on rapid neighborhood change and abandonment in St. 
Louis was based on two considerations. First, city officials and other knowledgeable 
citizens considered abandonment to be the city’s most serious problem. Second, 
abandonment as a prime symptom of central city decline was an appropriate concep- 
tual counterpoint to the phenomenon of rapid growth central to our research in the 
San Jose metropolitan area. 

In the St. Louis research, abandonment is considered to have occurred wherever 
there are empty, vandalized buildings and empty spaces within older neighborhoods. 
For our purposes, empty buildings and land are seen as part of the city’s spatial 
"inventory” — in the usual sense of inventory as goods held in the anticipation of 
changing demand. Empty land is most appropriately called inventory, since it pro- 
vides space for the expansion of existing land uses or the introduction of new land 
uses. However, empty buildings — vandalized, awaiting demolition — can be thought 
of as "hung-up” inventory. 

Our definition of the end result of abandonment as inventory for St. Louis was 
influenced by two major considerations: 

1. The process of abandonment was not new to St. Louis. In 1936, the St. Louis 
City Plan Commission published a study of shifts in land use that said: 

To state the condition in its simplest terms — if adequate measures are not 
taken, the city is faced with gradual economic and social collapse. The older 
central areas of the city are being abandoned, and this insidious trend will 
continue until the entire city is engulfed. 1 


Before the recommendations of that Commission report could be fully implement- 
Volume 9, Number 61 


Page Twenty-Five 


ed, exogenous demand induced by World War IT rapidly accelerated job opportuni- 
ties at the same time that new housing construction was narrowly restricted. By 
1950 these conditions swelled the city’s population to 857,000, close to its peak of the 
century a few years later. With the end of the war, new housing construction grew 
vigorously but in St. Louis County, not in the city — and existing densities in the 
city placed the county at a greater competitive advantage. 

IXiring the 1960s, abandonment in St. Louis was widespread enough to warrant 
three studies funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,* 
a study by the Urban League, 3 and a survey sponsored by the City Plan Commission 
on the problem of residential blight. 4 It also stimulated a variety of research inter- 
ests and projects at local universities on problems of neighborhood transition. We 
have relied on this past and continuing research to provide richness of detail in the 
microanalysis of neighborhood change, and deployed our resources toward analyz- 
ing the possibilities of alternative land use for the future — viewing abandonment as 
inventory. 

2. Although abandonment figured as a major problem in most of our early 
discussions with local olficials and citizens, many people understood that abandon- 
ment could also be viewed as an opportunity. We therefore reexamined a basic 
question: For whom is abandonment a problem? Since the voluntary relocation of 
households or businesses from one area to another ordinarily suggests improvement, 
abandonment may be viewed as an indicator of rising incomes, better housing, and 
land use opportunities for some people and businesses. 

For people left behind, however, some problems worsen. Public services decline 
at the very least, in effectiveness — as the private incentives to housing and neigh- 
borhood maintenance diminish. And large blighted areas not only uglify a city but 
can intensify old problems and generate new ones, such as increased vulnerability 
to fire. 

While the problems of declining areas often dominate local concern, many St. 
Louis decisionmakers had begun to view abandonment as a possibility for improve- 
ments. As evidence, several significant municipal codes were changed in the 1960s: 
until the early 1960s, owner-protective code requirements caused demolition of a 
building to lag behind notification of condemnation by six months to a year; by 1970, 
code revisions had reduced that time to one week. 5 Since October 1970, the city has 
been engaged in a massive program, financed primarily by the federal government, 
to remove condemned buildings. 6 

Restructuring: The Future of the Central City 

Given the growing view of abandonment as opportunity, it seemed that policy- 
makers in St. Louis might benefit from research oriented toward future expecta- 
tions, asking how the city might manage the inventory it is accumulating . How a city 
manages its inventory largely depends, of course, on what it can anticipate about 

future change. Thus, Rand’s research in St. Louis has been structured to answer the 
following questions: 

• Without major policy changes, which of the following possibilities will most 
likely occur in the St Louis metropolitan area over the next ten to twenty years? 

Continuation of past trends . The rates at which people and jobs depart from the 
city accelerate, and their rates of entry remain sluggish. The city’s inventory ac- 
cumulates but competes poorly with surrounding suburban inventory for either 
business or residential investment. Selective out-migration causes the city’s resident 
population to become smaller and older, with a growing proportion of disadvantaged 
persons, many of them blacks. Under these conditions, the city would presumably 
go into bankruptcy 7 and become something like a ward of the federal government — a 
jurisdiction incapable of generating locally the revenues with which to manage 
itself. 

Stabilization of current growth potential. As inventory accumulates in the city, 
it fails to compete with suburban locations for most types of industry. However, the 
black middle- and lower-income residential population in the city shows growth 
through natural increase. One of many suburbs, St. Louis retains the usual comple- 
ment of people-serving industries that prosper as its population increases either in 
size or affluence. 

Reversal of past trends. The city’s accumulating inventory exhibits a selective 
competitive advantage over suburban inventory with respect to industrial develop- 

FOCUS /Midwest 


ment for which central location is a dominant consideration. Economic decline 
gradually "bottoms out" as past decline creates new conditions — available land, 
decreasing population densities — that attract new growth. The city again becomes 
an active hub of economic exchange within the metropolitan area. 

• Within the next ten to twenty years, can specified policy changes at the local, 
state, or federal level alter the likelihood that one or another of the above possibilities 
will occur? 

In answering these questions, we have drawn on the conceptual tools and ana- 
lytic methods of economics, sociology, demography, political science, and statistics. 
Our diverse research efforts, however, shared a common perception of basic urban 
processes. We assumed that metropolitan areas represent a set of political bound- 
aries (central cities, counties, smaller municipalities, etc.) normally subject to a 
more or less continuous procession of people and jobs entering and leaving. Any 
jurisdiction’s population grows as it attracts more migrants than it loses and as it 
experiences more births than deaths. Its economy grows as its firms expand, produc- 
tivity increases, and jobs show a net increase. 

Although population and employment have been suburbanizing for many 
decades, these changes have been especially pronounced since World War II. During 
the 1960s, an unprecedented number of the nation’s central cities not only ceased 
to grow but lost population. Fifleen of the 21 central cities with over half a million 
residents in 1960 ended up losers, and 6 reported losses of 10 percent or more. The 
degree of decline in St. Louis may be exceptional, but St. Louis is no exception to 
the rule. 

Rising incomes and falling transportation costs, permitting more people to in- 
dulge their taste for detached single-family homes with yards, have been the usual 
explanations for the decentralization of urban population. Changing technology and 
falling transportation costs have increasingly allowed industrial decentralization as 
well. Federal policies have accelerated the trends set in motion by these market 
forces. National mortgage insurance programs and tax laws encouraged widespread 
home ownership following World War II, and highway construction programs in- 
creased homeowners’ access to the suburbs. 

The effects of these market forces and federal incentives should be much alike 
in all metropolitan areas, yet they are not. They vary considerably from one area 
to another, but why? We understand these different outcomes, despite common 
influences, to stem from the complex interplay of (a) structural differences in local 
population composition, industrial mix, governmental makeup, age, topography, 
and region; and (b) exogenous shocks peculiar to certain areas (e.g., particular types 
of migration streams, awarding of aerospace and defense contracts in particular 
areas, and location propensities of major export industries). 

For the St. Louis research, we assumed that market forces (rising incomes, 
falling transportation costs,® changing tastes, technological change) have provided 
the major impetus for the observable population and job redistribution from central 
city to suburb. Further, we have striven to identify the marginal accelerators of 
urban change more explicitly — the additional forces that have accelerated these 
national trends operative in the St. Louis metropolitan area. 

These factors are particularly important for policymakers to understand, as 
they promise to be the variables easiest to modify — though perhaps not at the local 
level. To the extent that the accelerators derive from sources exogenous to local 
jurisdictions, local urban policymakers may have little ability to change them. 9 This 
is one of the reasons that the conclusions of Rand’s urban research in specific cities 
will be addressed to national as well as local policymakers. 


RESEARCH DESIGN 

To assess the likelihood of alternative futures for St. Louis, Rand undertook a 
series of specific research tasks designed to answer the following questions: 

o What conditions and policies have accelerated departures from and retarded 
entry of people into St. Louis? 

o What conditions and policies have accelerated departures from and retarded 
entry of jobs into St. Louis? 

o What is the city’s growth potential, given current trends and composition in 
population and business? 

Volume 9, Number 61 


Page Twenty-Seven 


Selection of Variables 


Three sources guided our selection of conditions and policies to explore: the 
professional literature of the social and policy sciences, 10 findings from Rand’s con- 
current research in San Jose," and extensive interviews and informal discussion 
with knowledgeable St. Louis citizens and local officials. 

In explaining what conditions have been unique in determining St. Louis’s 
decline, most local observers pointed to the city’s aging physical stock 12 and the 
large migratory influx of rural blacks during the late 1940s and 1950s. Local policies 
judged to have a unique bearing on St. Louis’s decline were those related to the city’s 
fixed boundary and the past conservatism of its banking community. We repeatedly 
heard about the set of local decisions that, in effect, have frozen the city’s boundaries 
to encompass 61 square miles since 1876, exacerbating the subsequent effect of 
decentralization as more affluent residents moved farther out. City banks, frequent- 
ly described as "conservative,” were alleged to have made risk capital difficult to 
acquire locally. We subjected each of these conditions and policies to as thorough an 
empirical test as we could devise with available data sources. 

We applied some gross quantitative measures of the incentives that various real 
estate tax laws offer to certain types of investment in the St. Louis metropolitan 
area. We also examined how interstate highways have influenced industrial and 
residential development by changing travel times from one part of the area to 
another. 

We originally considered a detailed analysis of the structure of the metropolitan 
economy to be an appropriate complement to the detailed demographic analysis we 
report. However, initial analysis showed no gross differences between the structure 
of the St. Louis metropolitan economy (or changes in it) and that of the national 
economy which might be responsible for the high rate of decline in the central city. 
An analysis that would go beyond the documentation of structural changes in the 
economy to an explanation of those changes (i.e., tracing decline in some sector to 
low investment rates does not explain that rate of investment) required more re- 
sources than we had available. 13 

Data development for the St. Louis project has been shared by Rand staff and 
professors at three universities in the St. Louis area: Washington University, St. 
Louis University, and the University of Missouri, St. Louis. 14 Our university col- 
leagues have been responsible for the development and analysis of primary data 
sources. 15 In addition, concurrent research funded by the Department of Housing 
and Urban Development 16 has furnished data germane to our research interests. We 
have also relied heavily on secondary data sources. 17 


Projections of Trends and Current Composition 

It is a tricky business to project the future of anything so complex as a city. 
Simple extrapolations of trends are particularly vulnerable to unforeseen shocks 
such as technological innovations or new federal policies. And today's linear trend 
may become exponential tomorrow. 18 For example, the normal filtering of housing 
in a metropolitan area— the orderly passage of successively lower income groups 
through the housing stock— may turn disorderly and set off large-scale disinvest- 
ment if income distributions between successive groups vary sharply. 

In various ways, we have sought to strengthen the projections discussed below 
with types of data that explain, rather than simply describe, the salient trends. For 
example, in assessing the future trend in migration away from the city, we rely not 
merely on descriptive census data but also on survey data that reveal people's 
intentions and expectations about moving. And in considering the crucial role of the 
automobile in patterns of metropolitan settlement, we have weighed the possible 
efTect of the rising price of gasoline on automobile use. We cannot foretell every 
exogenous shock to the metropolitan area, however. While we take a systematic 
approach to those contingencies we can now identify (e.g., the rising price of gaso- 
line), our projections are firmly anchored in the caveat, "If everything else remains 
the same. . 


Page Twenty-Eight 


FOCUS /Midwest 


m. RESEARCH FINDINGS 

Starting with a model that provides the underlying explanation of population 
redistribution in all major metropolitan areas, we then examine conditions associat- 
ed with differential growth rates in central cities. After that, we analyze change in 
St. Louis from a number of standpoints: 

• Demographic, including trends in the city and the suburbs, changing re- 
placement capacity of various components of the city population, implications of 
demographic trends, and effects of interurban migration. 

• Economic, including implications for the city of slow growth in the met- 
ropolitan area, changes between the city and the suburbs, and the results of a survey 
of industrial developers taken specifically for this analysis. 

• Racial, involving various tests of the accelerating effects of racial aversions 

on jurisdictional and neighborhood change. 

. • Financial and legal, including contributions of current policies that acceler- 
ate other trends, especially federal highway and income tax policies; local jurisdic- 
tional boundaries; and the effects of local banking conservatism. 


MODELS OF URBAN CHANGE 

St. Louis is by no means unique among American central cities in showing 
absolute declines in population and jobs in the 1960s. Two events of the last twenty 
years — rising incomes and falling transportation costs — have affected central cities 
in the United States in such a way that all of them should either be growing more 
slowly than their suburbs or experiencing absolute declines in population and jobs. 
That is, it can be argued that in concert, the desire to provide and consume public 
services collectively (because they are cheaper that way) creates powerful incentives 
for firms and households to locate near one another. But countering factors make 
for dispersion: land is cheaper away from the central city, and more space is avail- 
able for modern spread-out, low-rise industrial and commercial operations. Further, 
cities typically provide a fixed bundle of public services intended to be uniform 
across neighborhoods. However, varying demands for public services are imposed by 
different subgroups (young families, the aged, higher income people, lower income 
people). To get the level and mix of public services they want, households must move 
to or create jurisdictions containing people of similar needs or tastes. Thus, the 
heterogeneity of a city’s population itself creates incentives for subgroups to disperse 
and regroup in more homogeneous jurisdictions. 

Although cities, under many conditions, maintain a tenuous equilibrium be- 
tween the opposing forces that impel clustering and dispersion, rising incomes and 
falling transportation costs have tipped the scales in favor of dispersion to the 
suburbs. 

Within that broad truth, growth rates in central cities still vary. To compare 
the strength of conditions associated with differential growth, Emmett Keeler and 
William Rogers devised a simple three-equation structural model of central city 
change in metropolitan areas of over 250,000 population. 1 This model 

assumes that SMSA total income growth and population growth are jointly deter- 
mined, and that SMSA population growth together with other exogenous variables 
determine central city population growth (see Fig. 1). Applied to 124 urban areas, 
the analysis shows SMSA income and population growth closely linked. It can be 
seen from the first equation in Table 3 that Congressional power, stronger city 
governments, and manufacturing have added to SMSA income growth. Natural 
increase and a good climate independently add to SMSA population growth (second 
equation). Central city change is mainly related to SMSA population change, but 
older cities with more old or black citizens lost more population, even with SMSA 
population change taken into account (third equation). 

Applying this model to St. Louis, 2 we found that the major phenomena associat- 
ed with the city’s 2 percent annual rate of population decline were the slow growth 
of the metropolitan area (-0.33%), the city’s age (-0.7%), its high percentage of 
black population in 1960 (-0.3%), a limited-power mayor form of city government 
(-0.2%), high median age of the population in 1960 (-0.2%), and a high density 
(-0.2%). The city’s age showed a stronger association with decline than did any of 
the other variables . This finding supports other evidence (discussed below in the 
Volume 9 , Number 61 


Table 3 

A N30CL or eXOUTH MQ DCCUM* 
13* DrWa Arm* 


CrCro - 0.»J SKSCh * 0.0015 CtWC T ♦ 0.0013 C CSV * 0.033 KAJECT - 0.033 HSC * 0.0032 At* O 
(10)' (2.9) O.S) (1.9) (1.4) (2.2) 

♦ 0.0*2 Clni ♦ 0.0033 SOOTH ♦ 0.017 FtSDI - 0.0)9 * 0.13. 

(2.1) (2.8) (0.7) (1.1) (0.9) 

StattAr* «rr*r - 0.003*3. 


SNSQi - 0.9) IrCr* • 0.0*3 Clol - 0.007 SOOT* ♦ 0.37 Kat lac ♦ 0.0002 Cll* - 0.03*2. 
(11) (*».2> ().*) (1.9) (2.23) (2.2) 

StoAar* «rror - 0.00*3. 


CC Ch - O.tO SKSCh - 0.018 A«* C - 0.02* Black ♦ 0.001 C 00* - 0.0012 CC 014 
(3.9) (2.7) (*2.3) (l.l) (2.3) 

• 0.00ft* DOJC * 0.011*. 

(1.7) (0.3) 


Sta*4ar4 «rr*r - 0,011*. 

SOUtCEi (Mlir a*4 bftn, 4 Cloeoi fioatio* of Mw Ante*. 

«OTIi Sn Tati* 2 for nflwclo* of ch* rarlahUt. th*fr tMmlittoM, «a, t*4 
tuaditf 4* vl At lam. 

*Ut lmt *4 h, tWO-*t*t* l***t HttrM. 
h Al! tut NomUIb. 

c Vtla*i In HmCkua tr* t-rttlo*. 



Fig. 1— Model of metropolitan growth 


Page Twenty-Nine 









NOTE 


.*• eioc« popuks’.a- incraotad 39.814 
ba»waa« I960 o-xj I9J0. 


| Subttontiel incraata (> 8,000 ) 


i'//4//A Modarota J-veraota (?, 000-0, 000) 
I 1 S*5«**» i«*c/ao*a(< 2,000) 

['•‘■'N Oaclina 


!•- v < 1 ,000 bl«efc» ai**iar ya or 
I 1 :j Mo I or pork or camafary 

Fig. 2— Districts gaining and losing black 
population, St. Louis City Health District, 
1960-1970 



NOTE: r > No daclina. * I -31% 

daclina 

Clrywld*. whllt population «Jaclinad 31.6 p*c*r.f CZ~J3 32-49% daelina 
oafwtan I960 and 1920. hJM 50* O' mor * <*clin* 


[; • ■ Moior pork or comaftry 

Fig. 3— Decline of white population, St. 
Louis City Health Districts, 1960-1970 


Page Thirty 


subsection on racial change) that associates decline with an old housing stock. It 
should also be noted, however, that the model explained only 60 percent of St. 
Louis’s rate of decline (the actual rate was 2.5 percent a year; the model explained 
1..5 percent), so that other factors, not included among the explanatory variables, 
are also important in St. Louis. 

We now turn to other analyses that examine factors included in the models we 
have just discussed, and additional factors useful in understanding how St. Louis got 
w ere it is. We also discuss the implications of these factors for projecting the city’s 


ANALYSIS 4 

The population of metropolitan St. Louis, like that of other metropolitan areas, 
c anges through natural increase (the difference between births and deaths) and 
through migration. A continual process of redistribution is under way in the area 
as People move into and out of particular neighborhoods. During the 1960s, dis- 

srsr popuia,io " change * st - - *• ■<* 


Comparative Trends in the City and Metropolitan Ring 

Durht lilTofin!! t y T ° f *? 3 metropolitan area of about 2.4 million people. 

During the 1960s, St. Louis s population declined 17 percent while its suburban ring 

Zt^fmos^?^ 29 PerCent THe Central ci * ^line was acute, compared with 

0f ■Waphic change (Table 4) 

of massive out „ ard 

Xv SrXX T*2 , . a ; d 19 ™' 34 percent » f white city-dwellers 

their hfrth rate H X?!. b ' :CS " JSe lhelr ^ath rat. steadily approached 

added only XXltau! “““ edcd il Those who remain^ in the city 

r„X T . th , e , ir numbers inationally, the increase in the white met- 
ropolitan population was 11 percent). 

It was a different picture for blacks. There was no gain or loss through net 
migration during the I960,, but the black population rose 19 percent through notu- 
ral increase, very close to its national rate of 21.6 percent. Annual population 
estimete, however show the black population in St. Louis to have peaked in 1968 
at around 269,000. By 1972, it was estimated to have dropped below 250 000 In view 
of the black population’s positive natural increase, the only explanation is that 
blacks have been migrating out of the city since at least 1968 (and almost certainly 
before). 

The redistribution of St. Louis’s population during the 1960s and early 1970s 
was marked by a sharp withdrawal of residents from areas adjacent to the original 
central business district, and racial turnover in an area north of the city’s center. 
To examine these changes in greater detail, Rand developed a model for estimating 
annually the population of city health districts. 8 (This model will enable city depart- 
ments to continue to monitor changes in the population’s size and racial composition 
at the health-district scale throughout the 1970s.) 8 

As can be seen from Fig. 2, substantial numerical increases in black population 
were registered in five health districts north and west of the city’s center. In fact, 
four-fifths of the total citywide increase in black population occurred in this area. 
Since 1970, however, there has been no appreciable increase of blacks anywhere in 
St. Louis except in health districts 7 and 9. 

In districts where blacks increased substantially during the 1960s, the white 
population registered sharp declines (Fig. 3>— in some cases falling to less than 
one-fifth of its 1960 numbers. 7 Since 1970, the white population in health district 23 
has stopped declining. In the eight other darkly shaded districts in Fig. 3, however, 
the white population has declined 15 percent annually from 1970 through 1972. 
Population in districts on the city’s south side declined moderately or slightly during 
the 1960s and remains almost totally white today. 

These hardly random changes in racial location in St. Louis continue to reflect 
the city’s long history of residential segregation. (Until 1962, city newspapers car- 
ried separate advertisements for real estate open to blacks and whites.) 

FOCUS /Midwest 


Trends in the Suburbs 


Demographic trends were somewhat more uniform outside the city (Table 4). 
Natural increase and net migration contributed equally to the white population’s 
26.6 percent increase during the 1960s. The black population’s 53.8 percent subur- 
ban growth was attributable more to net migration than to natural increase. 8 St. 
Louis’s suburbs attracted migrants largely from the city but also from outside the 
metropolitan area. Increasingly, migrants of both races entering the St. Louis SMSA 
bypassed the city and settled in the suburbs (mainly in St. Louis County). It can be 
seen in Fig. 4 that the total stream of new arrivals to St. Louis City between 1965 
and 1970 was smaller (both absolutely and relatively) than it had been a decade 
earlier. For blacks, the inbound stream was numerically about the same; but in 
relative terms, newly arriving blacks increasingly favored the suburbs. 

Changing Replacement Capacity 

The importance of these sharply divergent growth dynamics reaches beyond the 
mere decline of the city’s population to the cumulatively weakening effects of pro- 
longed and severe out-migration. These effects are evident in the white population: 
heavy and prolonged out-migration has drawn away potential parents and left 
behind an elderly population that no longer regenerates itself. 

The severity of out-migration by young adults can be gauged by following in- 
dividual age cohorts from 1960 to 1970 (Fig. 5). For example, if there were no net 
migration, the number of persons 5 to 14 years old in 1960 would appear as persons 
15 to 24 years old in 1970, less a small allowance for mortality during the decade. 
Below age 45, this allowance is minimal (at most 5 percent), so any sizable discrepan- 
cy between a young adult cohort in 1960 and 1970 indicates the extent of migration 
that has taken place. Figure 5 gives stark evidence of extensive out-migration in the 
early adult years. For example, in 1960 there were 37,900 white females aged 15-24, 
but by 1970, only 17,900 aged 25-34 remained — a 53 percent reduction. There were 
31,100 males aged 25-34 in 1960, but only 15,900 aged 35-44 in 1970 — a 49 percent 
reduction. Overall, 46 percent of whites aged 15-34 in 1960 were gone by 1970, 
leaving St. Louis with a sharply diminished pool of prospective parents. 

This diminished replacement capacity is illustrated more directly in Table 5, 
which shows: 

• Women in the middle and later childbearing years have grown more scarce. 
In 1960 white women 25 to 44 years old made up 22.1 percent of all white women 
in the city; by 1970 the figure had dropped to 17.6 percent. (Part of this drop stemmed 
from the changing national age distribution.) 9 

• The proportion of elderly whites has risen. Whites 65 and over made up 14.5 
percent of the population in 1960, but 19.2 percent in 1970. (The corresponding 
figure nationally was 10 percent in both years.) 

• Partially as a result of these changes in age structure, the crude birth rate 
per thousand whites declined from 22.1 in 1960 to 12.0 in 1972; and the crude death 
rate per thousand whites rose from 14.8 to 18.0. (Part of the decline in the birth rate, 
of course, was a consequence of the national trend in the birth rate, which dropped 
nearly 25 percent during the 1960s.) 

Since 1965, the white population has ceased to replace itself, its death rate 
having exceeded its birth rate. By 1972, deaths exceeded births by a margin of 3 to 
2. Since it is now undergoing natural decrease, St. Louis’s white population will 
continue to shrink whether or not net out-migration continues. Only a dramatic rise 
in fertility or a massive influx of young adults can alter this situation. 10 

The city’s black population has not undergone severe migratory change and 
retains its strong replacement capacity: in 1972, its crude birth rate was 24.9 per 
thousand, but its crude death rate was only 11.2. Nevertheless, the black population 
began to decline in 1969, indicating a net migratory loss severe enough to offset its 
natural increase. 11 This recent shift could signify an increase in departing migrants, 
a reduction in entering migrants, or a combination of both. What weak indications 
we have favor the first of these explanations. 12 

General statements about an entire city invariably mask specific neighborhood 
exceptions. This is true of St. Louis, where certain areas are registering growth by 
attracting new residents. Two important questions are: Where are these new resi- 
dents coming from — outside the city or other parts of the city? At what rate is the 


THTA I 



° Dota shown *o. 1955-1960 refer to nonwhites. 

BLACKS 0 


25 


?0 


1965-1970 



Fig. 4— Destination of migrants entering the 
St. Louis SMSA, 1955-1960 and 1965-1970 
(persons 5 years old and over, residing out- 
side SMSA or abroad five years previously) 


Volume 9, Number 61 


Page Thirty-One 



Table 4 

COMPONENTS OF POTULAT1UN CHAXKK IS ST. LOUIS, 1960-1970 
(IUCr> per hundred i960 reef denes) 



Total 

Natural 

Net 

Area 

Change 

lnrrea*e a 

Migration 


Both Rare* 


St*. Louis SMSA 

12.3 

II. 5 

0.8 

St. Louis Cltv 

-17.0 

7.3 

-24.4 

Remainder of SMSA 




(suburban ring) 

28. S 

13.8 

14.7 


Whites 


St. Louis SMSA 

9.4 

10. 1 

-0.7 

St. Louis City 

-31.6 

2.4 

-34.0 

Remainder of SMSA 




(suburban ring) 

26.6 

13.3 

13.3 


Nonwhit es** 


SC. Louis SMSA 

28.2 

20.2 

9.7 

St. Louis City 

18.6 

19. S 

-0.4 

Remainder of SMSA 




(suburban ring) 

S3. 8 

22.0 

37.2 


SOURCE : U. S. Bureau of the Census, ;* 

/ ■'pul at i^. j *ji H ,W; •~n. ;r h ' • 

Tivucfc /*'T Str’r-f't'- ir Ar-\i* t 1?CT 1 ?k\ ?'\i’ 
Report /’fl'Y2/-7, Tables 10-12; Table T; 

FHC f 2)-li., Table 1, Oovernaent Printing Office, 
Washington. O.C. , 1971. 

*Rate of tnrresne attributed to exress of births 
over deaths. 

^In this section of the table, “Total Change" 
applies only to the black population. "Natural In- 
crease" and "Net Migration" apply to the nonwhite 
population as a whole, but in the St. Louis SMSA, 
virtually all nonvhices are black. 


Table 5 

BUCK AND WHITE' REPLACEMENT CAPACITY IN ST. LOUIS, 
1960-1972 


Indicator 

1960 

1970 

1972 

Wo Don in later childbearing 
years (25-44) 

White 

Black 

22. IX 
27. IX j 

17. 6X 

22, n 

NA* 

NA 

Population 65 and over 

White 

Slack 

14. SX 
6.8X 

19. 2X 
8.3X 

SA 

NA 

Crude birth race 

White 

Block 

22. 1 
34.4 

14.5 

25.1 

12.0 

24.9 

Crude death rato 

White 

Black 

14.8 

11.4 

17.7 

11.3 

18.0 

11.2 


a NA » not available. 


change occurring? If the change is internal, or if new residents are coming from 
outside; but at a slow rate, then the significance is small. 

. r ^^ ese neighborhood exceptions and their broader meaning leave considerable 
latitude for judgment. One local view we encountered repeatedly was that young 
* white families, disillusioned with suburban living and attracted to inexpensively 
pneed older housing, are beginning to move back to- St. Louis. Evidence offered in 
support of this view is anecdotal: a south-side realtor claims to have more buyers 
than sellers; a particular parish reports that whereas few new families moved in last 

El° Zei !k haV ! done so this year, thousands of people attend a neighborhood 
estivai, and hundreds of would-be newcomers inquire about buying a home there. 

lv ..nti? ^ that 8 ret , Urn to the city has commenced cannot be tested direct- 
should on 6 ^ Census ^ en - Nevertheless, some signs of this alleged reversal 
T 8 ^ Cial,y prepared ^Polotion estimates for health districts on 
^ Verify that the White of health 
^ , u 38 mcrea8ed 8ince 1970. The increases are small (3, 7, and 5 

TL 1 !! 0 “ d 1972) - ^ also are erra «c: health district 

dS?td u imw 19711 1971 h decHned - Heaith 

increases are mninlv , only after 1971. We cannot ascertain whether these 
within the city. * WhlteS m<mng ,nto the city or to P^ple relocating 

degr^t return m~ te ^K WeC “ ^ 8peCUlate about wheth er and to what 
is riJu^lIy aTwhSTd’ a* J‘ ty “ m T the ° ffiDg - Population on the south side 
will go on the markefc aa t v V f? C m * n comin S years* more and more houses 
attract buv«iT* * *‘5® °! der P°P u lation dies off. Some of this housing may well 

- ~~ * — 

ooem/SSTJf S? w e > dem0g T a ^ iC e . vidence we have, we can assert that the 
have seen that for whitM 8 . P° pidatl0n *111 continue and may well accelerate. We 
acquired its own 8abstantial and cumulative loss of city-dwellers has 

5w t Ze eWerly D0W diG ° ff faster than the y oung are bom. 
two reasons: ? th&t tluS natural decrease will do anything but intensify for 


the h Ig h-mortahtyng^t pro P ort lo n of whites are either entering or already within 
will continue to rise. 6 ***' Th ® white Population’s crude death rate therefore 

the ^ion^ P eriJ^ iV fu P ! re u te “* 8carce amon S St - Luis’s whites, and 

mount Thp f ^ the y will choose to have smaller families continues to 

• ite population’s crude birth rate is therefore likely to fall, barring a 

ram^tic increase in fertility or a strong and sustained inflow of child-bearing 


No £ “ the , re “uch evidence that St. Louis’s black population will grow substan- 
tially. True, the black population is expanding steadily through natural increase, 
but black migration out of the city is more than enough to cancel that ’ 


Accumulation of Disadvantaged Ci tizens 

As migration has changed the metropolitan-wide distribution of population, St. 
Louis has lost ground in other respects. Its population has come to be comprised of 
those citizens who are disadvantaged, as the following comparisons show: 

• Between 1960 and 1970, the city’s black population rose from 29 percent to 
41 percent, but only from 6 percent to 7 percent in the rest of the metropolitan area. 

• The city’s residents 65 years and older increased from 12 percent of the 
population to 15 percent; they stayed at 8 percent in the remainder of the metropoli- 
tan area. 

• For families and unrelated individuals, median income in the city was 79 
percent of that for the SMSA in 1959; city income was only 68 percent of SMSA 
income by 1969. 

• The proportion of relatively high-income families declined sharply. In 1959, 
11 percent of families in the city had incomes at least double the city’s median family 
income; by 1969 only 4 percent had such incomes. 

• The proportion of relatively low-income families rose slightly. In 1959, 16 
percent of families in the city had incomes below half the city’s median family 
income; by 1969, 21 percent had such incomes. 


Page Thirty-Two 


POCUS! Midwest 


Through selective out-migration, problems of dependency and poverty — not ex- 
clusively problems of St. Louis — have come increasingly to be located in St. Louis. 


Migration 

In this context, it is important to clarify how migration contributes to or allevi- 
ates the problems facing St. Louis and its residents. Like other metropolitan areas, 
St. Louis is linked with urban and rural areas throughout the country by migratory 
interchange. Among white migrants, this is a broadly connected system, indicative 
of metropolitan St. Louis’s niche in a national system of manpower exchange. The 
migration of blacks, however, is more of an urbanizing process: incoming migrants 
enter metropolitan St. Louis mostly from rural origins in such states as Mississippi, 
Missouri, and Arkansas. Outgoing migrants go to metropolitan destinations, oflen 
large centers such as Los Angeles, Kansas City, and Chicago. For many blacks, St. 
Louis serves as an entry point into urban life. 

The city, however, is where most black in-migrants to the metropolitan area 
settle. An important question here is: How do these incoming migrants fare com- 
pared to the St. Louis residents they join? Although we lack the requisite data for 
exploring this point thoroughly, it is possible to examine the unemployment experi- 
ence of recent in-migrants after their arrival in St. Louis and compare it with St. 
Louis residents they join. 13 Data in Table 6 show that among blacks, recent migrants 
differ little from long-term residents with respect to unemployment at any age. 
Among whites, recent migrants also have unemployment rates similar to those of 
long-term residents (except for the 20-24 year age group). There is, however, a sizable 
difference between blacks and whites in every category: blacks are substantially 
more unemployed than whites. 

The effects of migration, then, have to be judged cautiously. In trying to analyze 
these effects, a major difficulty is that standard social and economic statistics are 
compiled and organized mostly by areas rather than by groups of people. Conse- 
quently, we can observe the experience of places, but not of people. These experi- 
ences can differ sharply. For instance, black in-migrants from impoverished rural 
areas in states like Mississippi may be less affluent or employable than the mostly 
white population they join in St. Louis. If this is true in St. Louis (as it is in other 
cities), then area indicators (e.g., unemployment or poverty in St. Louis) may register 
a worsening of local conditions. But measures of individuals’ experiences (e.g., their 
unemployment experience or poverty now, compared with what it was before they 
came to St. Louis) may show marked improvement. 


ECONOMIC CHANGES 

Slow Economic Growth in Metropolitan St. Louis 

We have seen that economic and population growth are slower in metropolitan 
St. Louis than in the nation as a whole. To what extent does this slow growth account 
for the central city’s decline? There is certainly reason to believe that faster growth 
in the metropolitan area would be useful to the central city, but the Keeler and 
Rogers analysis 14 discussed earlier indicated that slow metropolitan growth is not 
the variable most strongly associated with central city decline in St. Louis. 

Further, the policy implications of stimulating metropolitan growth to gain 
positive effects for a central city are curious. Built into an "average” metropolitan 
growth rate for the nation is the fact that some areas fall below, some above that 
average. The most obvious way to change relative rankings is for metropolitan areas 
to compete with one another for jobs and people. While proponents of local growth 
are accustomed to such competition, 16 there is no compelling rationale for public 
policy at a higher level to artificially equalize the economic performance of met- 
ropolitan areas by redirecting people and jobs toward certain areas and away from 
others. 

Even if a local metropolitan area competes and wins, what are the relative 
benefits of so doing? In California, San Jose’s rapid economic and population expan- 
sion produced its own set of problems: 10 affluence increased, but its distribution did 
not become notably more equitable (Chicanos did not appear to benefit as much as 
Anglos); certain environmental amenities deteriorated as tract housing develop- 



Fig. 5— Age distribution of white popula- 
tion, St. Louis City, 1960 and 1970 


Table 6 

UNEMPLOYMENT RATES IN ST. LOUIS FOR RECENT MIGRANTS 
AND LONG-TERM RESIDENTS, 1969 


Age and Migration Status, 19 70 a 

Percent 

Unemployed, 1969 

Whites 

Blacks 

20-24 years old 



Recent migrants 

6 

11 

Long-term residents 

3 

10 

25 years old and over 



Recent migrants 

1.6 

3.5 

Long-term residents 

1.5 

3.6 


SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Che Census, 19?0 ?en9U8 
cf P'pulsti , Public Use Sample of Basic Records. 

*A1 1 persons 20 years old and over in the labor 
force. Recent migrants are persons who moved to 
St. Louis between 1965 and 1970. Long-term resi- 
dents are persons who lived In St. Louis in both 
1965 and 1970. 


Volume 9, Number 61 


Page Thirty-Three 


Table 7 

ANNUAL GROWTH RATES OP EARNINGS BV SECTOR AND INDUSTRY, 
ST. LOUIS CITY AND SUBURBS, 1966-1970 

(In percent) 


Sector 

St. Louis 
Ctty 

Suburbs 

Governoent 

5.3 

7.1 

Private 

-3.1 

6.1 

Manufacturing 

-6.4 

3.5 

Transportation, coosuni cat ions, 
utilities 

-1.9 

9.2 

Trade 

-5.1 

11.7 

Finance, insurance, real estate 

-2.0 

7.1 

Services 

3.0 

7.1 

Total 

-2.3 

6.3 


SOURCE: Data provided by Regional Econoaics tnfor- 
oat Ion Systen, Bureau of Econoalc Analysis, Office of 
Business Econoaics, U.S. Departaent of Concaerce. 


Table 8 

EMPLOYMENT IX SERVICES, ST. LOUIS CITY AJO) SUBURBS, 
1959 AND 1970 



St. 

Lou la City 

Suburbs 



Suabcr 

of Jobs 

Held 

Nuaber 

of Job* 

Held 

Svrvlt v 

1959 

1970 

ACR* 

1959 

1970 

ACR 

Hotels 

5.672 

4.667 

-1.91 

962 

3.351 

12.48 

Personal 

7.864 

7,025 

-1.13 

4.039 

7.043 

5.56 

A«it «* 

’.190 

’.609 

1.75 

1.165 

2,626 

7.96 

Repa i r 

1 .184 

1.690 

3.56 

705 

1,077 

4.24 

AauMCwnl 

2.123 

2.177 

0.25 

2.056 

3,611 

5.98 

Hcil it all 

l 3,299 

20,317 

4.24 

6,030 

21,712 

12.81 

Icr.iI 

1 .072 

1,173 

0.90 

352 

946 

9.89 

Kith .11 It Ml 

1.177 

10.244 

11.71 

1 .134 

5,905 

16.50 

Nonprof 1 1 

Mint rl)4Ri'i*ii< 

8,396 

10,486 

2.22 

4,029 

8.442 

7.40 

Ku»lnv*N 

7,1 At. 

14,744 

7.27 

1,114 

6,211 

17.18 


SOURCE: * : j'Nn*#*, L*.S. Departaent of 

Coaaer.c, 1959 and 1970. 


*Avcragi- itr.'vth rate. 


Table 9 

PERCENT ACE Of SNSA EARNIXCS >Y SECTOR, ST. LQUI> CITY, 
st. louis comm , rekainimg susursax rim., 

1970 AND 197) 


Regaining 

Sc. Louie St. Louie Suburban 
City County tint 


Sector 

1970 

1973 

1970 

1973 

1970 

1975 

Total non faro 

4) 

13 

13 

47 

22 

20 

Governoent 

18 

» 

X> 

12 

12 

12 

federal governoent 

50 

46 

15 

25 

13 

29 

Private 

44 

11 

16 

30 

20 

17 

Manufacturing 

Transportation, coMunlcatiooa. 

42 

11 

M 

47 

22 

20 

utilities 

55 

41 

21 

41 

22 

18 

Wholesale and retell 

46 

27 

17 

69 

17 

4 

finance. Insurance, real estate 

31 

19 

13 

47 

14 

14 

Services 

4] 

3) 

13 

47 

22 

20 


SOURCE: Gardner end Payne, An feot-we Ana'.utif / ’ft- 


ments and freeways destroyed orchards and serene vistas; and while San Jose’s 
residents seem less concerned today with what urban planners regard as the aesthet- 
ic outrages of rapid growth, local policymakers were sufficiently skeptical of the 
benefits of rapid growth to ask Rand whether continuation of such growth was 
essential to economic well-being. Similar problems beset some of the suburbs of 
metropolitan St. Louis: traffic congestion, sudden new demands on municipal ser- 
vices, unplanned and inefficient land use are much more characteristic in the grow- 
ing suburbs than in the central city. 

Economic Growth: City Versus Suburbs 

Economic decentralization has paralleled the movement of population in met- 
ropolitan St. Louis. Between 1960 and 1970, the city’s share of SMSA population 
shrank from 39 to 26 percent. Its share of area jobs declined from 61 to 42 percent. 

The figures in Table 7 17 illustrate how sharply the city and suburban economies 
were diverging during the latter half of the 1960s. In St. Louis, earnings grew only 
in the government and service sectors; all other sectors declined. In the suburban 
ring, all sectors registered positive growth. Table 8 shows that within the service 
sector, city employment grew slower than suburban ring employment; indeed St. 
Louis lost employment in "hotels” and "personal” services and showed only a minis- 
cule increase in "legal” services and "amusement.” These growth rates, combined 
with declining earnings in industrial and commercial sectors, strongly suggest that 
the center of economic activity is shifting away from the central city. We estimate 
that if these trends continue until 1975, St. Louis County will have captured a share 
of business activity approaching that usually associated with the central city of a 
metropolitan area (see Table 9). 18 

Survey of Industrial Developers 

f° supplement the projections based on past aggregate data, Professors D. K. 
Holland and G. D. Wendel of St. Louis University carried out a survey of eight 
industrial developers in the St. Louis area. 19 On the whole, industrial developers 
substantiated the conclusions of other analyses: that industrial dispersion in met- 
ropolitan St. Louis had been stimulated by the search for more space and by the 
construction of interstate highways. At one stroke, these highways made available 
large, relatively inexpensive tracts of suburban land and lowered transportation 
costs. The developers also indicated that high crime rates in the city gave added 
impetus to dispersion. 

Interviews with these developers pointed up two objective limitations facing 
any concerted effort to reverse industrial suburbanization: 

• More land is available in the suburbs than in the city. At present, about 1300 
acres (not all zoned industrial) are available for development in St. Louis, whereas 
4200 acres already zoned i or industrial use are available for development in St. 
Louis County. Furthermore, despite widespread abandonment in St. Louis, develop- 
ment remains more expensive there than in the suburbs. 20 Moreover, recent cut- 
backs in urban renewal funds have virtually eliminated the land write-down feature 
that formerly made the cost of city land development nearly competitive with subur- 
ban land development. 

# High crime rates have reduced the attractiveness of the land available for 
redevelopment in St. Louis. Yet crime rates depend heavily on the income level and 
age structure of the local population, factors that municipal governments can do 
little to change. 21 

From the survey of developers, we know that the most attractive land in the city 
for industrial development is distant from low-income residential neighborhoods 
and accessible to highways. From the developer’s viewpoint, then, accumulating 
spatial inventory in the city is a necessary but not sufficient condition for future 
business investment. 


RACIAL FACTORS 

Several data sources we have examined show a strong relationship between the 
presence of blacks and a rapid exodus of whites at the neighborhood levelboth within 
St. Louis and in surrounding suburbs. However, the hypothesis that city-wide popu- 

Page Thirty-Four FOCUS! Midwest 


lation decline is largely a matter of "white flight” (i.e., racially motivated departure) 
was not substantiated. This finding fits with the analysis by Keeler and Rogers, 22 
which shows a weaker relationship between race and central city decline than 
between the city’s age and its decline. 


Race and Central City Decline: The White Flight Hypothesis 

Precipitous neighborhood change may be explained in part by racial transition, 
but the aggregate population decline of the city appears to be a response to other 
factors. In one attempt to account for the pattern of residential and industrial 
dispersion evident in the St. Louis metropolitan area, we tested three hypotheses 
that seemed to be plausible explanations of trends that have left St. Louis City with 
a population composed increasingly of blacks. 23 

• Industries in which whites are overrepresented have been suburbanizing 
more than other industries. A high proportion of whites have been choosing to live 
close to their jobs. 

• Other things being equal, nearly everyone prefers suburban residence to city 
residence. If whites’ incomes have been rising more than blacks’, a higher proportion 
of whites will have moved to the suburbs. 

• The white population has been leaving the city to escape the black popula- 
tion (the "white flight” hypothesis). 

We examined black and white departure rates from the central city adjusted for 
interracial differences in income and job location within the metropolitan area. 24 

There were two findings. First, within every income bracket for both blacks and 
whites , fewer people live in St. Louis City than would be expected y given the spatial 
distribution of jobs. Second, at only the lowest and highest income levels did whites 
leave the city at faster rates than their black cohorts. That is, for most of the income 
distribution, blacks and whites were leaving the city at the same rate during the 
1960s. 


Reasons for Residential Change 

A survey conducted by the City Plan Commission in 1967 25 offers clues about 
why these moves took place. Interviews suggest that people’s desire to own a home 
or enlarge living space is as important as their desire to escape repellent neighbor- 
hood conditions in motivating movement within and away from the city. Of respond- 
ents who intended to move, both blacks and whites who gave priority to becoming 
homeowners tended to favor St. Louis County as their destination. For prospective 
homeowners, then, St. Louis’s housing stock is less competitive than housing in the 
suburbs. 26 On the other hand, respondents who intended to move and who gave 
priority to enlarged living space tended to designate locations within the city. 

Thus, St. Louis’s housing stock is competitive mostly as it offers space for rent. 
Blacks and whites who expected to move, however, were found to designate mutually 
separate areas of the city. While we hesitate to accept these expressions of intent 
without question, we note that they are borne out by the actual patterns of white 
and black movement, to which we now turn our attention. 


Analysis of Census Tract Population Changes 27 

During the 1960s, rates of population change varied widely among different 
sections of St. Louis. Census tracts— -small and relatively homogeneous areas into 
which cities are subdivided — are a useful scale at which to examine these variations. 
Regression analyses of population changes in St. Louis census tracts from 1960 to 
1970 reveal consistent patterns beneath this variability and offer clear indications 
of the contrary racial trends just noted. 

Not surprisingly, the population changes at this small-area scale fit well with 
the somewhat larger health district scale analysis reported above, showing continu- 
ing differentiation of the black and white populations within the city. Blacks exhibit 
a strong tendency to move into tracts where blacks already reside, rather than 
disperse evenly throughout the city. (As noted earlier in this section, under the 
heading "Comparative Trends in the City and Metropolitan Ring,” four-fifths of the 
black population’s citywide increase was concentrated in 5 of the city’s 26 health 

Volume 9, Number 61 


Page Thirty-Five 


districts.) Predominantly white tracts tend to retain white residents if most white 
households own their homes. White population declines more severely where most 
whites rent, or where blacks — particularly new arrivals — make up a significant 
fraction of residents. Although our regression analysis cannot shed light on causa- 
tion or underlying motives, it documents the powerful continuities in racial separa- 
tion in St. Louis. These tendencies reflect a long history of overt racial segregation 
in housing. Today, however, the behavioral mechanisms at work may also involve 
income differences that affect the filtering of housing. To investigate this possibility, 
we examined the dynamics of the housing market. 


Neighborhood Level Analysis of the Housing Market 28 

An arbitrage model of household locational decisions can often be used to pre- 
dict and explain the response of the housing market to changes of race and income 
in neighborhood household composition. This model assumes that the housing mar- 
ket is segregated by race and income, reflecting people s preference to cluster in 
homogeneous groups. High-income families who can afford new housing receive 
discounts if they live in neighborhoods adjacent to low-income families. Low-income 
families pay premiums to live in neighborhoods adjacent to high-income families 
and capture their amenities. Equilibrium in the market occurs when the price of 
housing along the boundary between these two groups is the same for each. 

Under these conditions, increased housing demand by poor families can provide 
an incentive for houses to change from use by high-income families to use by low- 
income families; as the price of housing goes up for low-income families, the contrac- 
tion of housing supply for high-income families increases the cost of their housing 
anr] provides an incentive to new construction. Racial prejudice would affect the 
housing market similarly, although £wo boundaries should develop: one between 
high -income and middle-income black families, and one between black families and 

loLcome families. In this case, a* black familie-sdemand more hous.ng and drive 

the price up, there is an incentive to shift some housmg from use by h.gh-mcome 
whites to use by middie-income blacks^^^ for se]ected c i ty neighborhoods 
Initial evidence base rjse M black and low-income family occupan- 

shows the following pattern thg peak of the vaC ancie S> rents begin to 

cy approaches a particular ' d vacanc ies decline and rents rise briefly 

decline. Then, once the bounda y continuous i y until they reach a floor, 

to their previous level. Finally, the marke t. 

at which time the units are remov ^ preV ail in suburban neighborhoods. 

This same pattern has since been ^ on the owner-occupied as well as 

Additional data on the housing marke J ^ b i acks -themselves moving 
the rental housing market) ^ ^ (he leading edge of suburban neighbor, 
from lower-income black areas-have be somewhal higher than those of their 

r> , 0 „pn where their incomes ar neighborhoods, and housing 

hood transition e v&cancy ra tes increase in su black families can enter the 
T whUe ^ Zie Zhe point where less affluent black 

prices deflate over hnrhoo ds in the path of sue nd the process continues. 

Wh h^hervaMnc^Si even before b l ack neighborhood change 

Sh °Th n e,e fatllrlu, support the ar ^ed that white response at 

is stimulated by racial transition. Even ^ ^ lhe first middle-. income black 
the neighborhood level ,E ; “ utionB that lower-income blacks 


Policy Implication, t0 slr0 „gly associated with St. lx>uis 

To repeat, racial aversions do not appea j eve j s blacks and whites have been 
City’s population decline; in fact, at most ' nC ° other hand, there is some evidence 
leaving the city at about the same rate. On ood change within jurisdictions, 

that racial transition causes precipitous neig 0 f d jflp ere nces causes people to flee 
But whether race, income, or some combina ion ... 0 f high transition are 

certain neighborhoods and certain jurisdictions, c ° policymakers are then less 

typically loft with lowered income ££ ^public services depend 

able to intervene in the transition process, to the ex P 

on tax revenues collected from residents. 


Page Thirty -Six 


FOCUS ! Midwest 


POLICY ACCELERATORS TO CENTRAL CITY DECLINE 

The decline of St. Louis remains most strongly associated with the demographic 
and economic factors discussed above, factors that local policy can do little to control. 
Nor can St. Louis easily control federal policies that contribute to decline. However, 
certain federal and local policies not only contribute to decline; they accelerate it. 
Some of these policies are discussed in this section. 

Federal Highway Policy 29 

During the 1960s the federal government supported the construction of five 
major interstate highways in metropolitan St. Louis (Fig. 6). 30 Total capital expendi- 
tures of the interstate system during this period exceeded $250 million dollars, of 
which the state paid 10 percent. 31 

r 

Industrial park locations (the dots in Fig. 6) show that this form of industrial 
development is sensitive to the location of the interstate beltway, a fact borne out 
by the survey of industrial developers discussed above. To gain a rough numerical 
picture of how beltways influence land use patterns, we examined residential and 
employment density changes that occurred between 1965 and 1970 for three rings 
of the SMSA, 32 designated by the letters A, B, and C in Fig. 6. Ring A is bounded 
by city limits on the west and includes all traffic zones within the city. Ring B 
contains all zones in St. Louis County within the outer beltway (1-270, 1-244). Ring 
C includes the remaining zones west of the outer beltway and portions of St. Charles 
and Jefferson Counties (represented by dashed lines in Fig. 6). 

Land use densities in 1965 and 1970, shown in Table 10, reveal several interest- 
ing trends. First, population density is roughly three times higher in St. Louis City 
(Ring A) than in inner St. Louis County (Ring B); but in both areas population 
density declined from 1965 to 1970. In outer St. Louis County and portions of 
Jefferson and St. Charles Counties (Ring C), population density increased about a 
third, but the absolute density of this ring is still far lower than that of the inner 
two rings. Second, industrial employment density (persons employed per industrial 
acre) declined in Ring A and increased in both Rings B and C, supporting other 
observations about the direction of industrial expansion. By contrast, commercial 
employment density increased slightly in Ring A while falling in Ring B; it rose 
sharply in Ring C, although from a small initial base. These trends suggest that the 
urbanization process is continuing well beyond the previous county suburban bound- 
ary (represented by the inner beltway). 

We also explored the influence of radial highway routes on changing land use 
for industrial purposes in one portion of the metropolitan area. Our expectation was 
that areas experiencing large decreases in travel time to St. Louis’s Central Business 
District would display the greatest relative increases in land use density. 33 Our 
results were mixed. For that portion of the SMSA lying north of State Highway 40, 
density changes tended to be greatest where travel time changes were smallest — 
opposite to our expectations. This finding may reflect important time lags in the 
adjustment of urban activities to transportation change. We note that the major 
northern radial route, 1-70, was completed in 1961; thus its impact on changing 
travel time is not captured by our 1965-1970 data. The changing densities we do 
capture may reflect continuing response to those earlier time changes. 34 

In the southern portion of metropolitan St. Louis, the data confirmed our an- 
ticipated effect of travel time change on density. Industrial employment density 
changes were directly influenced by improved access to the CBD. The estimated 
coefficient for travel time change (the major explanatory variable) was near unity, 
indicating that for the typical zone, a one-minute decline in CBD travel time is 
associated with an increase of one industrial job per industrial acre. 35 

No doubt, the size of this coefficient is inflated because our model excludes other 
important explanatory variables, such as land value. Nevertheless, it is clear that 
the response of industrial firms to declining transportation costs, as measured by 
CBD travel-time changes, is significant. 

To summarize, both radial highways and beltways have stimulated industrial 
and population dispersion from St. Louis. If these patterns continue during the 
remainder of the 1970s, the interstate beltway may be a catalyst for further west- 
ward movement of population and employment. Indeed, our survey of industrial 
developers indicates that this beltway has already sparked a substantial increase of 
industrial activity in the outer western ring of metropolitan St. Louis. 

Volume 9, Number 61 



Fig. 6-Location of major highways and 
industrial parks in the St. Louis SMSA 


Table 10 

POPULATION AND EMPLOYMENT DENSITIES IN 
THE ST. LOUIS SMSA, 1965-1970 


Ring 

Populat ion 
Density 

Industrial 

Employment 

Density 

Commercial 

Employment 

Density 

Ring A 




1965 

33.5 

12.7 

10.5 

1970 

31.4 

12.0 

10.8 

Ring B 




1965 

11.7 

*3.1 

4.7 

1970 

10.5 

3.4 

4.2 

Ring C 




1965 

2.3 

0.75 

1.3 

1970 

3.2 

1.0 

2.4 


SOURCE: Traffic zone data obtained from 
Missouri State Highway Commission. 

NOTE: Population density figures refer 
to persons per residential acre. Employ- 
ment densities refer to persons employed per 
industrial or commercial acre. 


Page Thirty-Seven 


Federal Real Estate Tax Incentives 96 


Page Thirty-Eight 


Federal real estate tax incentives do not determine the jurisdictional locations 
(e.g., city versus suburb) in which money is invested. But they accelerate dispersion 
by offering advantages to types of investment that are simply more available in 
suburbs in central cities. For example, the benefits to home ownership encour- 

age middle- and upper-income families to purchase new housing which appears 
mostly in the suburbs. At the same time, laws that do not allow deductibility of 
capital losses on owner-occupied homes, but that do tax capital gains, hasten disin- 
vestment in central city housing that is comparatively older and more likely to 
decline in value, and discourage improvements likely to be reflected in capital gains. 

In combination, these laws encourage panic selling to avoid loss, and worsen the 
instability of neighborhoods undergoing racial or income transition; they deter 
capital improvements, thereby hastening the deterioration of housing stock; and 
thev encourage conversion of homes to rental property for a period before sale, thus 
accelerating neighborhood change. For metropolitan St. Louis, Richard Slitor has 
estimated that there is a $67 million annual tax break for home ownership, a $22 
million capital gains incentive for real estate speculation, and $13 million in capital 
gains unrealized at death. These figures represent different sorts of incentives for 
private actions, not estimates of the market effects of such actions. Thus, they are 
not additive Nonetheless, they represent an impressive set of incentives for invest 
in suburban housing and disinvestment in central city housing. 


Other Federal Policies 

A number of other contributory federal policies warrant mention in an overall 
assessment of St. Louis’s decline. While we have not carried out specific analyses 
here, we can offer the following observations based on research by others. 

The housing policies of the 1960s had important effects in St. Louis. The Pruitt- 
Igoe public housing development, built in the 1950s, abandoned during the 1960s, 
and partially demolished in the 1970s, is well known— a classic example of how 
federal hig h-rise, low-amenity, problem-concentrating public housing fails. 

Less dramatic but more important than public housing has been the effect of 
mortgage reinsurance by the FHA and VA, far and away the most powerful federal 
policy affecting housing in the post-World War II era. To be sure, decentralization 
of population has stemmed from an overwhelming popular desire for suburban 
housing; but FHA and VA reinsurance had two important contributory effects. First 
it enabled people to buy suburban housing with no down payment and at low interest 
rates. Second, it created a national mortgage market. Both of these effects accelerat- 
ed the outward movement of families. Moreover, in the case of St. Louis, the FHA 
has often refused insurance on inner-city mortgages, making it even less likely that 
private owners would maintain the existing housing stock. More recently, the D©. 
partment of Housing and Urban Development has sharply curtailed urban renewal 
funds, thereby removing the land write-down feature— the only remaining factor 
that could make city land development nearly competitive with suburban land 
development. 

Housing is by no means the only realm in which the powerful side effects of 
federal policy have hastened St. Louis’s decline. Earlier we pointed out that one 
reason for differential decline is the ample availability of cheap agricultural land 
that can readily be developed for industrial or residential uses. Although partly a 
result of St. Louis’s natural geography, suburbanization may be substantially ac- 
celerated by federal flood control policy under the Corps of Engineers, which contin- 
ues to create mdre land. 

A number of federal policies, then, have contributed to St. Louis’s decline. Other 
possible policies, such as revenue-sharing and income maintenance, might have 
helped to slow this decline or soften its effects on people, but such policies have not 
been in force. 


Local Policies 

Jurisdictional Boundaries. St. Louis is one of the five geographically small- 
est cities in the United States with over half a million population. 37 At the peak of 
its twentieth-century population, more than 880,000 residents lived within its 61 
square miles. Although there are fewer than 600,000 residents today, St. Louis 

FOCUS/ Midwest 


retains a high density of land use. 38 Indeed, our survey of industrial developers 
shows them in unanimous agreement that the desire for additional space has been 
an overwhelming (though not exclusive) motivation for business departures from 
the city. 

Some local analysts contend that sharp decline registered in St. Louis’s popula- 
tion is, to a degree, a statistical artifact arising out of the political decisions that have 
kept city boundaries fixed for so long. According to this view, the corporate entity 
called "St. Louis” is more artificially defined than most other centred cities, the 
result being to render it an exaggerated example of the typical older U.S. city. 30 

To measure the effect of this size restriction more exactly, we calculated how 
far St. Louis boundaries would have to extend for its decline in 1960-1970 population 
to equal the average population decline for comparable U.S. cities. 40 We found that 
city boundaries would have to extend about six miles farther west , taking in two- 
thirds of St. Louis County's population and about one-third of the county's land area 
(see Fig. 7). Of course, it is possible to extend city boundaries far enough to create 
a jurisdiction that shows no population or job loss between 1960 and 1970. In that 
case, what we call the city would become a larger jurisdiction’s concentration of 
low-income population. It is not clear, however, that the jurisdiction we might create 
this way would have developed in the same way had such annexation actually 
occurred. 

Though we cannot argue that restricted boundaries have accelerated St. Louis’s 
decline, they have distributed the consequences of decline to the city’s disadvantage. 
Reduced revenues, coupled with the necessity of maintaining an older physical stock 
and the necessity of providing services to a growing proportion of aged and poor, 
engender problems that are less and less capable of solution from within those 
political boundaries. 



I’k' ' ; 1 Aroo hypothetically annexed 


Fig. 7— Hypothetically different St. Louis 
City boundaries 


Conservative Banking Community. People we spoke with often mentioned 
the conservatism of the city’s banking community as a barrier to new growth in St. 
Louis. Using recently developed techniques of portfolio analysis, we tested this 

belief. 41 The approach used was suggested by the method of the Capital Asset Pricing 
Model, developed by William Sharpe 42 and others. 

Applying this model to the four largest banks in St. Louis City — The First 
National Bank, Bank of St. Louis, Boatmen’s National Bank, Mercantile Trust— we 
found conventional wisdom to be true. These banks aneconservative when compared 
with the rest of the nation’s big-city banks. And between 1940 and 1970, the banks 
showed increasing conservativeness. But what is the import of this for urban 
growth? 

It can be argued theoretically that in cities where banks finance higher-risk, 
higher-payoff investments, the wealth of the population will grow faster than in 
cities where banks maintain lower-risk preferences. The regulation of entry into 
banking reduces the probability that the full spectrum of risk preferences will 
develop among banks, a phenomenon that can be expected to develop in an open 
competitive market. Unit-rule banking, a very strict form of entry regulation, may 
tend over time to reinforce any disequilibrium of risk preferences (e.g., where all 

banks in a community are conservative or all have high-risk preferences) by retard- 
ing the entry of new banks into a community. 43 

While we cannot estimate the quantitative effect of a conservative banking 
community on economic growth in St. Louis City, we can argue with confidence that 
it has not helped the city’s economic viability. 


IV. ALTERNATIVE STRATEGIES FOR THE FUTURE 

ALTERNATIVE FUTURES FOR ST. LOUIS CITY 

Because St. Louis has already undergone major economic and population de- 
cline, it is possible that the attendant accumulating inventory may initiate new 
conditions in the city that will gradually mitigate or even reverse the downward 
trends of the past. Theoretically, any urban jurisdiction can "bottom out,” as large 
blocks of inexpensive empty land stimulate new forms of investment. 

Today, of course, St. Louis is far from emptied out. It still contains some 600,000 
residents and 40 percent of the SMSA’s business activity. However, its population 
is on a course that cannot easily change: the white population will not cease declin- 

Volume 9, Number 61 


Page Thirty-Nine 


ing without net in-migration, and the black population will not continue growing, 
unless out-migration ceases. If industrial location trends during the latter half of the 
1960s continue for another five years, the city will be only one other center of 
business activity, as opposed to the chief center. St. Louis County will contain more 
economic activity than the city. Public revenues have become progressively more 
difficult to generate locally: receipts from the earnings tax are falling in real terms; 
the statutory limit on the property tax rate has been reached; and assessed valuation 
is not increasing faster than inflation. In both 1971 and 1972, sales tax receipts were 
disappointingly less than had been expected. 1 

Current and Future Inventory 

Nevertheless, the city now has approximately 1300 acres available for develop- 
ment This figure could rise to 2200 by the year 1990, if current trends in land 
clearance continue (through continuing population and business dispersion, along 
with the present rate of building demolition). We can arrive at a rough estimate of 
what new investment in these areas might mean for the city as follows: 2 

If almost 60 percent of the available land is allocated to industrial-commercial 
use and the remainder to streets, alleys, and residential uses, then about 1300 acres 
will be available for industrial-commercial development by 1990. Translating this 
acreage into jobs — 67 percent allotted to industrial and 33 percent to commercial 
jobs, as is now the case— and then allocating 26 employees to each industrial acre 
and*85 employees to each commercial acre (using 1971 statistics), some 56,000 jobs 
could be developed by 1990. Next, since the earnings tax is one of the most significant 
sources of current city revenues, 3 we estimate average salaries for the jobs to be 
developed 4 and the consequent earnings tax: by 1980, approximately $3 million, and 
by 1990 an additional $4.5 million, might be generated in city earnings tax. 

These obviously crude estimates indicate possibilities, not probabilities; they do 
not represent net increases; they assume short temporal lags between abandonment 
and reinvestment; nor are they consistent with the results of our survey of industrial 
developers. If those results are indicative of a solid frame of mind on the part of the 
private interests making the relevant decisions, the simple availability of land in the 
city will not suffice. 

Federal Decisions 

Before we turn to specific local policy efforts to induce redevelopment, it is 
important to mention three pending decisions. Each will be made primarily at the 
federal level, and any one of them could reduce the effectiveness of local attempts 
to bring economic activity and residences back to the city. They are: 

( 1 ) The development of bottomland. About 5000 additional acres could become 
available for industrial development in St. Louis County alone with construction of 
the Meramec Basin Dam by the Army Corps of Engineers. 

(2) A projected interstate highway link from Kansas City to Chicago. This high- 
way will cut two hours and over 100 miles from the present route through St. Louis. 
Many argue that the new highway will hurt both the trucking and tourism indus- 
tries in the St. Louis metropolitan area, and particularly in the city. 

(3) A new airport site. The development of a new airport to the southwest of 
the city, in addition to Lambert Field on the northwest, would further act to draw 
new industrial development away from the city limits. (This is not to imply the 
converse — that an airport located to the east in Illinois would draw business back 
into the city.) However, any new attraction for development west of the city is likely 
to hurt, with more western development reinforcing a strong existing tendency. 8 

Local Policies: Redevelopment Possibilities 

Meanwhile, the St. Louis City Plan Commission has just published a new 15- 
year development program 0 intended to reestablish the city as a viable working and 
residential community. Although emphasizing physical development, particularly 
of residential neighborhoods, the program also focuses on controlling crime, improv- 
ing educational opportunity, and restructuring some parts of city government. The 
plan envisions differential treatment of neighborhoods aimed at retaining the stabil- 
ity of neighborhoods that are presently sound, rehabilitating other neighborhoods, 
and continuing demolition in still others. 


Page Forty 


FOCUS /Midwest 


For the short-range phase of the development program that stresses residential 
betterment, estimated financial requirements are $154 million. The program recom- 
mends, in addition, a four-year public improvement effort involving: $6 million for 
demolition; $7.2 million for waste disposal and pollution abatement; $29 million for 
facilities to encourage economic development; $68 million for transportation im- 
provements; $16 million for major recreational facilities; and $40 million for educa- 
tional facilities. Accomplishment of the long-range (15-year) plan is estimated to 
require close to $1.5 billion. 7 

In addition to urban redevelopment carried out by the St. Louis Land Clearance 
for Redevelopment Agency (both federally assisted and nonfederally assisted), three 
policies are being used in concert to enhance the prospects for private investment 
in the city:' 

(1) The Missouri Urban Redevelopment Corporation Law , which provides the 
power of eminent domain to corporations planning expansion or redevelopment. 
This allows more efficient accumulation of land and is accompanied by a 25-year 
schedule of tax abatement. 

(2) Planned Industrial Expansion, which allows industrial revenue bonds to be 
used for industrial development. 

(3) The Land Reutilization Act, which permits the city to foreclose on tax- 
delinquent property, thereby enabling the city to accumulate property for purposes 
of restoration or rezoning for new uses. 

Recent private investment has been substantial, according to the Plan Commis- 
sion. For example, they point out that the Mercantile Trust Company announced 
plans this year for a $150-million Mercantile Center. The Boatmen’s National Bank 
has announced plans for a $23-million project. Design of a $25-million public Con- 
vention Center is nearing completion. Official approval is near for a $75-million 
Convention Center Plaza private redevelopment effort. Construction has begun on 
an $8-million addition to Stouffers Inn. Breckenridge Hotels Corporation has re- 
quested approval for a $10-million hotel development over the vacant Spanish Pavil- 
ion. General American Life Insurance Corporation has announced plans to build a 
new headquarters at an estimated cost of $10 million. A Florida developer has 
announced plans to renovate the city’s old Post Office building, and other plans are 
in progress. 

Further, local officials see great promise in a new consciousness of neighborhood 
identity among many of its residents, and a renewed interest in city dwelling among 
young families. In the last five years, neighborhood corporations have burgeoned, 
and neighborhood festivals — drawing from 10,000 to 50,000 people — have been tak- 
ing place in increasing number. These festivals consciously promote the amenities 
of in-city living, and encourage potential homebuyers to sign up to be contacted 
when housing comes on the market. According to some estimates, between 2000 and 
4000 young families have been attracted to city residence since 1970, either recruit- 
ed by conscious neighborhood effort or drawn by their own tastes for city residence. 

The Probabilities 

No one can deny that local policy has taken an active and vigorous posture 
toward reviving city life. But there are major uncertainties as to whether the under- 
lying causes of the urban crisis in St. Louis can be effectively changed or reversed 
by measures envisioned in the new plan: 

Will the current revival of private investment in the city continue? 

Will middle-income families and businesses be attracted back to the city in 
significant numbers by these measures alone? 

Will they manage to generate sufficient revenues to support municipal goods 
and services, despite having to share these revenues with the city’s disadvantaged 
population? 

Our analysis makes us doubt that the present policies alone can sufficiently 
attract new investment to the central city. The city is capturing a dwindling fraction 
of the new industrial and commercial development occurring in metropolitan St. 
Louis. In 1968, approximately 56 percent of new investment in projects involving 
$100,000 or more was in the city. In 1970, the figure was only 23 percent; and in 1972, 
11 percent. 8 Although investors are betting that the scheduled new office space will 

Volume 9, Number 61 


Page Forty-One 


be filled, their bets are cautiously hedged. Thus, the Mercantile Center development 
is staged over a decade. It will begin with a $25-million building to house existing 
bank facilities, requiring that only 50 percent of the space be leased on the open 
market. Subsequent buildings — a luxury hotel and three more office buildings — will 
be developed sequentially. As first steps are justified by new demand, next steps can 
be taken. And caution is not unwarranted: in the city, utilization of general office 
space remained at 9 million square feet from 1955 to 1971, in spite of net additions 
to supply of office space of over 2 million square feet. 9 

The city’s power to hold current private economic investment and to attract still 
further investment is somewhat compromised by the frequent requirement of feder- 
al resources to force down the price of land. This necessity makes the city s future 
economic development quite vulnerable to changing federal decisions (freezing HUD 
funds, changing urban renewal policies). Indeed, one major company in the city has 
been working with local and federal resources for five years to develop 44 acres of 
surrounding land; they estimate that achievement of the development will take at 
least another seven years. Thus, while city locations can be made attractive for 
certain types of private investment, the encumbrances of so doing assure that subur- 
ban locations will remain strongly competitive in the foreseeable future. 

Another argument sometimes made is that fuel shortages will reduce the rate 
of metropolitan decentralization, inducing higher densities of population and busi- 
ness which will be more acceptable to the smaller families anticipated in the next 
two decades. But transportation research in progress at Rand indicates that the 
price of gasoline will have to triple to induce a 9-percent decline in vehicle miles 
traveled. In addition, income elasticities are shown to be high for both automobiles 
and gasoline, suggesting that as incomes rise, the purchase and use of automobiles 
will increase as well. 

Even if decentralization is slowed, the city cannot expect to be sole beneficiary 
of these trends. Under conditions that reduce decentralization, every jurisdiction in 
a metropolitan area might expect to house a larger proportion of its labor force, as 
some communities attract more employers of their residents, while others attract 
as residents those who also work within their boundaries. Already, in the fifteen 
largest U.S. metropolitan areas, an average of 72 percent of workers both live and 
work in the suburbs. (St. Louis is close to the average with 70 percent.) And in nine 
of those fifteen metropolitan areas, suburbs have equaled or far exceeded their 
central cities as the principal location of jobs. 10 

Our conclusion is that no current policy available to the city can induce the rate 
of private investment that would return the city to a position of economic dominance 
in the metropolitan area. Nor does St. Louis appear to be moving in the direction of 
becoming a predominantly black , self supporting suburb. 

Rather, what is happening now is that the major causes of the urban crisis are 
stimulated and accelerated by conditions and policies beyond the reach of local 
policy; local policy is left mainly to ameliorate their consequences — and left with 
reduced sources of revenue to do even that. This position forces local policymakers 
to devise short-term solutions, because they simply cannot finance long-term solu- 
tions. Yet, paradoxically, the short-term solutions can worsen the longer-term prob- 
lems. 

St. Louis City’s earnings tax is a case in point. In the short term , it captures as 
much revenue as possible in an equitable way. The city cannot afford to eliminate 
this revenue source until a very different municipal financing system is in place. 
Nevertheless, in the longer view , the earnings tax falls most heavily on the use of 
land in business districts and can be escaped by removing the activity. It falls most 
heavily on residents who work outside the community and can escape the tax by 
leaving the city. It creates a systematic incentive to live and work outside the city. 
To be sure, the lower property values that may induce new residential and industrial 
investment in the city can be traded off against the earnings tax. But as property 
values rise with stimulated investment, the trade-off becomes less advantageous for 
later investors, enhancing once again the competitiveness of suburban locations. 


LIVING WITH THE FUTURE 

St. Louis does appear to have the opportunity to reduce the rate of its decline, 
but even this reduction requires new sources of revenue outside its own jurisdiction. 

Page Forty-Two FOCUS /Midwest 


Since the legislation to achieve that is clearly long-term, the city remains locked in 
short-term strategies as described above. In our opinion, these strategies must con- 
tinue to be developed in the understanding that for the most part the historical 
functions of central cities are technologically obsolete today. 11 Clustering of people 
and of economic activity is no longer paramount to the degree it once was. St. Louis's 
age and location within an outwardly sprawling urban region render it increasingly 
just ’‘another part of town.” Making the best of what it has to offer means catering 
more deliberately to the diversity of interests that lie within its boundaries. How 
might this be done? 

Our proposal is to engage in jurisdictional or administrative changes designed 
to enable groups of common interests, tastes, and needs (e.g., neighborhoods) to 
define and receive public goods and services tailored to those needs. Certain plans 
of local policymakers are already aimed in this direction: the current city develop- 
ment program proposes different strategies of intervention, depending primarily on 
housing conditions in different neighborhoods. The full development of this strategy, 
however, is dependent on a mechanism for generating revenues that will allow low- 
income residents to live where they want to, without requiring the jurisdictions they 
choose to depend predominantly on internal sources of financing. 

We have already noted in Sec. Ill that with rising incomes and diminishing 
transportation costs, people disperse and regroup into homogeneous jurisdictions 
where public services tailored to their particular desires and needs are provided. The 
larger and more heterogeneous a taxing and service-delivering jurisdiction, the 
more likely it will be that current forms of municipal financing and allocation of 
public goods 12 will return a lower proportion of the tax dollar to relatively affluent 
citizens than to the less affluent in the form of goods especially tailored to their own 
needs and tastes. To be sure, less affluent citizens might choose municipal expendi- 
ture patterns quite different from those selected by wealthier citizens, and in that 
sense public goods directed to the needs of disadvantaged groups provide less accept- 
able returns on their tax dollars as well. However, since the total revenue available 
from wealthier citizens is greater than that available from poorer citizens, the latter 
receive greater benefits from the affluent than they could support out of their own 
resources. 

Thus, the more affluent have strong incentives to support their desired services 
in separate smaller jurisdictions — much stronger than the incentives of the poor to 
isolate themselves from more affluent neighbors. And rising incomes and diminish- 
ing transportation costs increase the ability of more affluent city residents to form 
new, more homogeneous jurisdictions — i.e., to suburbanize. 

According to this argument, St. Louis City would not be the only municipality 
in the metropolitan area subject to departures of the better-off. And indeed, the 
population of University City (a ring suburb) declined by 10 percent between 1960 
and 1970; 13 and median income fell, though in no sense is University City a low- 
jncome community, even now. In this smaller community, where jurisdictional 
boundaries can be escaped by even shorter moves, there is some evidence to suggest 
that racial as well as income transition accelerates movement from jurisdiction to 
jurisdiction. 14 On the basis of this understanding of urban processes, we would argue 
that until some form of revenue-sharing — federal, state, or metropolitan — makes the 
poor a smaller financial burden for any single jurisdiction, rising incomes will contin- 
ue to encourage the more affluent to flee and their amenities will encourage the less 
affluent to pursue them. And if whites cannot tolerate sharing the same bundle of 
public services with blacks, movement from jurisdiction to jurisdiction within the 
metropolitan area will be further accelerated. 

We suggest widening the jurisdictional boundaries at which revenues are collect- 
ed. Federal revenue-sharing is an example of what we mean, though presently it is 
neither substantial enough nor is it perceived as permanent enough to represent a 
tenable solution to municipal financing problems. True, other levels of revenue- 
sharing are feasible for some areas — metropolitan or state revenue-sharing. How- 
ever, for the St. Louis metropolitan area, past voting records suggest that metropoli- 
tan revenue-sharing has little likelihood of acceptance. Perhaps changes in suburbs 
like University City will make possible a metropolitan coalition; perhaps the federal 
government will come up with an effective incentive program for metropolitaniza- 
tion (but we would not recommend such a program on the basis of this single study). 
In any case, most metropolitan solutions for greater St. Louis seem out of current 
reach. 


Volume 9 , Number 61 


Page Forty-Three 


If, however, ways were presented to make municipal financing less dependent on 
the ability of current residents to pay, municipal governments would be more free to 
experiment with different modes of service provision. At least some goods and services 
might best be ordered and provided at very narrow jurisdictional levels, e.g.. neigh- 
borhoods. In this way, cities with heterogeneous populations might capture some of 
the benefits of small homogeneous (and affluent) suburban municipalities where 
residents can purchase and control the public goods and services they want. 

STRATEGIES FOR LOCAL POLICY 

Our analysis of St. Louis has discouraged us from emphasizing local policy 
changes. In many ways, the city is already handling its inventory in ways our 
analysis would suggest: subjecting hung-up inventory to demolition; accumulating 
contiguous parcels of land in a land bank; discouraging small scattered develop- 
ments where empty land has promise of accumulating; attempting to reduce the 
price of city land. We have opinions about the consequences of certain local policy 
issues that have been informed by our research: 

. Branch banking would appear to promise more beneficial than negative 
consequences for growth throughout the metropolitan area. 

. Proposed Missouri sites for a new airport will reinforce the already strong 
westward development in the area. 

• Continuing development of bottom land in the metropolitan area will pro- 
vide substantial new suburban inventory with which city sites must compete. 

• The proposed interstate highway connecting Kansas City to Chicago may 
hurt such industries as tourism and trucking in the metropolitan area and especially 
in the city. 

Local policies may have beneficial effects, but the most significant steps for 
ameliorating the city’s decline rest on policies that must be developed outside its 
jurisdiction at either the state or federal level. Yet recommendations to state or 
federal officials for major changes in urban policy must necessarily be tentative 
when derived from the analysis of one city. Thus, rather than make recommenda- 
tions, we present examples of policies that could make the poor a smaller financial 
burden for any single jurisdiction: 

• At the federal level, this calls for a much more substantial revenue-sharing 
program that takes into account the large proportion of public goods (streets, hospi- 
tals, parks), as well as services that cities currently support. Formulas for distribut- 
ing revenues should provide higher than current returns for proportions of low- 
income citizens. 

• At the state level, a more limited form of state revenue-sharing could sup- 
port selected public goods in cities — for example, public hospitals. 

• At the metropolitan level, even limited revenue-sharing would help. For 
example, revenue generated by industry in the metropolitan area might be appor- 
tioned to municipalities in the area by a formula that would grant higher returns 
to jurisdictions with high proportions of residents in poverty . 15 This would reduce 
the competition for industry between metropolitan jurisdictions and would promote 
industrial location more suited to the environmental concerns of the whole met- 
ropolitan area. We recognize that revenue-sharing of this type would be extremely 
complex to accomplish across states; for that reason decisionmakers might consider 
limiting such a plan to the Missouri portion of the SMSA. 

• Alternatively, a metropolitan earnings tax would be possible. Once again, 
revenues would be apportioned to area municipalities by a formula that would grant 
higher returns to jurisdictions with high proportions of residents in poverty . 16 

But what might the city do under current forms of generating revenue to lessen 
the incentives that encourage affluent citizens to move to other jurisdictions? 
(Though we address this strategy to the city, it would apply to any municipality.) 
Our analysis suggests that the most helpful strategy toward this end would be to 
gear the administration of municipal services and regulations to varying neighbor- 
hood needs . 17 

This practice is not new to municipal policymakers, though most jurisdictions 
maintain the principle of providing the same set of public services and enforcing the 

Page Forty-Four FOCUS /Midwest 


same regulations in all neighborhoods. However, since housing stock varies consid- 
erably as a municipality ages, it is not unreasonable to consider local policies that 
impose different housing codes on varying stock. In the past, makers of home loans 
(FHA, commercial and savings and loan banks), insurers of property, and owners of 
property have acted upon their individual expectations of the changing future of 
particular neighborhoods, escalating that change as they did so . 1 . 8 

However, if cities could show clearly how municipal services and codes will 
respond or are responding to neighborhoods undergoing racial or income transition, 
the anxieties of present or potential residents, anxieties that now lead to precipitous 
neighborhood change, might well be reduced. Clear public prescriptions of this kind 
could also lend support to citizens who seek financing for homes in transitional 
neighborhoods. Research in progress at Washington University 19 should be useful 
in determining the services that public policies should stress for transitional areas. 

■■ 

Footnotes 
Section I 

1 The terms "SMSA," "metropolitan area," and "metropolitan St. Louis" are used interchangeably 
in this report. 

2 Based on data developed in the 1970 Census, two counties in Illinois (Clinton and Monroe) have since 
been added to the St. Louis SMSA. The data for this report, however, are based on the SMSA definition 
as of 1970. 

3 Hereafter, "St. Louis" will refer to the city, while St. Louis County will be so designated. 

4 These futures do not encompass all possible futures for the city. They include those futures that 
appeared both feasible and representative of the range of possibilities after initial data analysis. 


Section II 

1 Institute for Urban and Regional Studies, Urban Decay in St Louis, Washington University St 

Louis. Missouri. March 1972, p. 13. y * 

2 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, A Study of the Problems of Abandoned 

Housing , Washington, D C., November 1971; Urban Decay in St Louis; Hugh Nourse and James Little 
HUD Grant MOPD-4 (untitled), 1972. ^ lUle ’ 

3 The Center for Community Change and the National Urban League, The National Survey of Hons, 
ing Abandonment, April 197 1. 

* Alan M. Voorhees and Associates, Inc., Technical Report on a Residential Blight Analysis for St 
Louis, Missouri , Washington, D.C., March 1969. 

3 City of St. Louis, Ordinance 55681, Section 2126.1, approved July 15, 1970. 

4 In January 1972, HUD declared a moratorium on federal funds for demolition. In addition, there 
was a cutback on Model Cities money that had been used for demolition. The city has now allocated 
$1,400,000 from revenue-sharing money for continuation of a large-scale demolition effort. Despite re- 
moval of much of the oldest housing stock in the city, median rents fell from $66 to $57 and median 
housing values fell from $12,000 to $11,000 (in 1967 dollars) between 1960 and 1970. 

7 Bankruptcy means that the city would no longer perform the existing level of services because of 
an inability to pay bills, meet payrolls, etc. This form of fiscal crisis is discussed in the Advisory Commis- 
sion on Intergovernmental Relations, City Financial Emergencies: The Intergovernmental Dimension 
(forthcoming). 

• Throughout this report, lowered transportation costs refer to a decline in the marginal cost (time 
and/or dollar) of transportation faced by a firm or household. 

9 For an analysis of this condition in San Jose, see Robert Levine's San Jose, The Urban Crisis, and 
the Feds, The Rand Corporation, P-4839, May 1972. 

10 See Sec. II of Bibliography. 

11 R. A. Levine and D. Alesch, Growth in San Jose: A Summary Policy Statement, The Rand Corpora- 
tion, R-1235-NSF, May 1973. 

12 For example, 74 percent of the city's housing stock was built before 1940. Dempster Holland, St 
Louis University, gives a graphic presentation of the relationship between abandonment and those 
portions of several cities (including St. Louis) urbanized before 1900 in his "Population Change in Seven 
Midwestern Cities," 1973 (unpublished paper). 

13 The methodological dimensions of the problem are explored in J. Rothenberg, F. Fisher, et al., "A 
Model of Metropolis,” Papers and Proceedings of the American Economic Review, Vol. LXII, No. 2, March 
1972. See especially the accompanying "Comments." 

14 Those professors who have been Rand consultants during the research period are: Dempster 
Holland, George Wendel (St. Louis University); Peter Grandstaff, Hugh Nourse, Robert Markland, Don- 
ald Phares (University of Missouri, St. Louis); Charles Leven, James Little (Washington University). 

13 In particular, at Rand's request, Dempster Holland and George Wendel did a small survey of 
industrial developers in the St. Louis SMSA, reported in their Development of Industrial Parks, The Rand 
Corporation, R-1358-NSF (forthcoming). Charles Leven and James Little have received a separate grant 
from the National Science Foundation to do a survey of movers within selected migration corridors of 
the SMSA, aimed at developing a model of residential preference, entitled, A Study of Determinants of 
Inter-Neighborhood Mobility, GI-37861-NSF. 

14 HUD Grant MOPD-4, 1972. 

17 The U.S. Census; Office of Business Economics, U.S. Department of Commerce; interviews carried 
out as part of the City Plan Commission’s survey of residential blight; and vital statistics data furnished 
by the City's Department of Health. 

,a Or it may change direction as well. 

Volume 9 , Number 61 


Page Forty-Five 


, Section III 


Page Forty-Six 


1 E. Keeler and W. Rogers, A Classification of Large American Urban Areas. The Rand Corporation, 
R-1246-NSF, May 1973. See Appendix D therein for applications of the model to 124 urban areas, 59 urban 
areas with central cities over 200,000, and St. Louis. 

* To estimate the effect of different St. Louis characteristics on the city's growth rate, values of the 
dependent variables for St Louis were multiplied by the parameters estimated in the regression for 124 
urban areas (Table 3). 

3 For some other declining cities— e.g., Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Newark— the model explained 
almost all the .decline. 

4 Taken from Peter A. Morrison, San Jose and SL Louis in the 1960s: A Case Study of Changing Urban 
Populations, The Rand Corporation, R-1313-NSF (forthcoming). 

8 The city is divided into 26 health districts, which range fn population from about 10,000 to 50,000. 

0 Peter A. Morrison, Small-Area Population Estimates for the City of St. Louis , 1960-1972, with a 
Model for Updating Them, The Rand Corporation, R-1373-NSF (forthcoming). 

7 Whereas Fig. 2 shows numerical increases. Fig. 3 shows percentage increases. The two figures are 
necessarily incompatible: in Fig. 2, there are many instances where the numerical base is very small and 
growing, whereas in Fig. 3 the base is typically large and shrinking. 

8 Suburban blacks register a high overall rate of growth between 1960 and 1970 because their 1960 
population base was miniscule (81,000). 

• For white women nationally, this age group declined from 26.4 percent to 23.5 percent of the total 
population between 1960 and 1970. 


10 Because changes in fertility are difficult to forecast, a dramatic rise cannot be entirely ruled out, 
although it is highly unlikely. Foreseeable changes in mortality have no appreciable bearing on the 
population's replacement capacity. 

11 Morrison, Small-Area Population Estimates for the City of SL Louis, 1970-1972, with a Model for 
Updating Them, Table 2. 

13 Data shown in Fig. 4 indicate that the gross number of black migrants entering St. Louis between 
1965 and 1970 was about the same as between 1955 and 1960 — around 10,000. Thus, only an increase 
in gross out-migration could account for the change in net migration. 


13 Specifically, we compared the 1969 unemployment experience of recent migrants (defined as per- 
sons entering St Louis between 1965 and 1970) with that of long-term residents (natives and earlier 
migrants). The source of these data was the 1970 Census Public Use Sample. 

14 A Classification of Large American Urban Areas. 

18 Vigorous efforts to recruit business at the regional level are planned by the St. Louis Regional 
Commerce and Growth Association formed in 1971. 

18 These results are reported fully in Levine and Alesch, Growth in San Jose. 

11 Taken from C. Gardner and G. Payne, An Economic Analysis of Central City Decline. The Rand 
Corporation, R-1350-NSF (forthcoming). 

18 Ibid. 


10 These firms manage 50 percent of the area's industrial parks. A full description of the interview 
and analysis method used in the study, the sample of developers interviewed, and the fall report of 
interview results are given in Holland and Wendel, Development of Industrial Parks. 

80 That is, in general, it remains expensive to buy abandoned property, clear it, and develop it or sell 
it to developers. Even with subsidized demolition (most of the clearance that has taken place is federally 
subsidized), the potential redeveloper must take into account the negative effects of surrounding, deteri- 
orating neighborhoods. 


It should be noted, however, that St. Louis is in the first year of a major crime reduction program 
sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice. 

,# A Classification of Large American Urban Areas. 

13 While any one of the hypotheses might account for all of the city's demographic change, they are 
not mutually exclusive. Indeed, it is unlikely that a single mechanism has been operating. 

14 An index was constructed that allows us to calculate an expected value for the 1960-1970 change 
m white and nonwhite city residents, allowing for city job losses (gains)— holding income constant. See 
Gardner and Payne, An Economic Analysis of Central City Decline, Appendix A. 

88 A reanalysis of selected parts of that survey is reported in Morrison, San Jose and St. Louis in the 
1960s. 


18 A more detailed analysis of the reasons for residential choices will be available when C. Leven and 
J. Little publish their model of residential preference. See Sec. II, footnote 16, above. 

>T A fitll discussion of the data and regression coefficients on which the analysis in this subsection is 
based is reported in Morrison, San Jose and St. Louis in the 1960s. 

88 This analysis has been developed from several different sources. The "arbitrage model" of 
household locational decisions was first used in Urban Decay in SL Louis (Institute for Urban and 
Regional Studies, Washington University) to describe and explain events in the city's housing market 
Comprehensive housing market data to test the model are being developed by Hugh Nourse and James 
Little under HUD grant M0PD4. In this latter study, the arbitrage model will be tested in nine neighbor- 
hoods located in the city and in suburbs surrounding the city: University City, Wellston, Jennings, 
Normandy, River View Gardens, Bayden, Walnut Park, The Hill, Lafayette-Soulard. An application of 
the model to additional data developed for University City in response to Rand’s request is reported in 
James Little, Housing Market Behavior and Mobility Patterns in a Transitional Neighborhood, Institute 
for Urban and Regional Stddies, Washington University, St. Louis, June 1973. 

80 Calculations in this section are reported in J. Enna and P. deLeon, The Effect of Highways upon 
Metropolitan Dispersion: St Louis, The Rand Corporation, P-5061, September 1973. 

80 Three of the links in this system (1-70, 1-44, and 1-55) are radial routes extending west from the 
Central Business District; the other two links (1-270 and 1-244) make up the outer beltway that connects 
the northern and southern portions of St. Louis County. These routes were completed on the following 
dates: 1-70 (July 1961), 1-270 (June 1964), 1-55 (July 1967), 1-244 (November 1968), and 1-44 (December 
1972). Two other mqjor arteries also were developed during the 1960s. State Highway 40 (the Daniel 
Boone Expressway) was substantially improved, while St. Louis County completed a portion of the inner 
beltway that connects Highway 40 with 1-70. 

81 The expenditure data were obtained from U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway 
Administration, Highway Statistics, Table SF-15, annual volumes 1965-1970. The data cover Jefferson, 
St. Charles, and St. Louis Counties and St. Louis City. 


FOCUS /Midwest 


31 This was the only time span for which appropriate data were available. 

33 To test for the effects of decreasing travel time to the CBD, a simple regression model was used 
in which absolute changes in industrial employment density formed the dependeht variable; the model's 
explanatory variables consist of absolute change in travel time to the CBD plus some initial density 
variables to allow for differing levels of land use between regions at the start of the time period. Traffic 
zone data on population, employment, and CBD travel time for the Missouri portion of the SMSA were 
obtained for two years (1965 and 1970) from the Missouri State Highway Commission; the observations 
used to estimate the regression equations were then formed by calculating the changes in density and 
travel time for each traffic zone. We had 250 observations (traffic zones) available for the regression 
analysis. 

34 This conclusion is partially supported with regard to industrial employment by an inspection of 
the pattern of industrial park development that occurred during the 1960*1970 period. Of the 25 parks 
developed during the decade in North St. Louis County, 13 were opened alter 1965. Data on opening dates 
of industrial parks were obtained from Holland and Wendel, Development of Industrial Parks. 

35 The data used represented actual employment between 1965 and 1970 (not jobs available). This 
result is thus affected to some unknown degree by the level of unemployment prevailing in 1965 and 1970. 

3C Material in this section is taken from R. Slitor, 'Tax Effects on Urban Growth in Three Cities; San 
Jose, St. Louis, and Seattle" (unpublished Rand document). 

37 The others are Boston, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Washington (we exclude the individual 
boroughs of New York from this comparison). 

33 See Table 10. 

33 Dempster Holland's unpublished paper illustrates, for several older cities, the strong relationship 
between the proportion of the city urbanized before 1900 and the proportion of the city with the highest 
rates of abandonment. Of the cities compared (Cincinnati, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Detroit, Cleve* 
land, St. LouisK St. Louis had the largest portion of its land area urbanized before 1900. 

40 The calculation appears in Morrison, San Jose and St. Louis in the 1960s. 

41 A discussion of this test appears in Cyrus J. Gardner, Banking Regulation and Urban Growth. The 
Rand Corporation. P-5057, August 1973. 

43 William Sharpe, "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory of Market Equilibrium under Conditions of Risk " 
Journal of Finance, Vol. 19, No. 3, September 1964, p. 425. 

43 Unit-rule banking involves a state regulation that forbids the formation of branch banks. Both 
Missouri and Illinois have unit-rule banking. For an empirical study showing that creation of new banks 
is retarded more under unit-rule banking regulations than under regulations that allow branch banking, 
see R. Pakonen, "The Differential Effect of Branch Law Regulation on Commercial Bank Entry," Ph.D. 
dissertation, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, 1971. 


Section IV 

1 Annual Report of Comptroller, City of St. Louis, 1971, and conversation with Mayor John Poelker, 
June 22, 1972. 

* These estimates were made by Dempster Holland of St. Louis University and appear in Holland and 
Wendel. Development of Industrial Parks. 

3 The city levies a 1-percent tax on salaries of residents wherever they work and employees wherever 
they live, which accounts for approximately one-third of city revenues. 

4 Jobs were broken down by industrial classification and average salary for 1970 (according to current 
percentages in industrial categories). Average salaries for 1980 and 1990 were then computed, assuming 
a 5-percent increase compounded annually, using current wage guidelines. 

5 The current dispute about airport location, involving expansion of Lambert Field versus construc- 
tion of a new airport in Illinois, is less clear-cut. Lambert exists, and much of what may be attracted to 
a major airport site has already been attracted. However, Missouri locations to the west and southwest 
of the city were suggested several years ago, and could be revived as candidates for new airport location. 

3 St. Louis Development Program (A Summary), St. Louis City Plan Commission, January 1973 

I Ibid., pp. 33-36 

• Figures as listed in various issues of St. Louis Commerce. These figures do not include construction 
by churches, schools, housing developments, and government. Also, they exclude listed investments 
where no dollar value was shown or where locations were not specifically designated as being in or not 
in the city of St. Louis (e.g., "ten restaurants, various locations," or "Mississippi River Transmission 
Corporation — pipeline expansion"). 

9 Institute for Urban and Regional Studies, Urban Decay in St Louis , p. 35. 

10 The New York Times, October 15, 1972. 

' 1 This may not be true of all those functions in all cities. Finance and communications may continue 
to cluster in New York to a substantial degree. But our point is illustrated by the very different type of 
sprawling centra) city represented by San Jose. 

12 Including public services such as police, fire, sanitation, library facilities, and schools, as well as 
public streets, parks, hospitals, auditoriums, etc. 

II Brentwood is down 12 percent; Wellston is down 11 percent. 

14 This initial evidence comes from early findings by Charles Leven and James Little, as reported in 
Little, Housing Market Behavior and Mobility Patterns in a Transitional Neighborhood. 

13 This is being done with part of the revenues from new development in the Minneapolis^. Paul 
metropolitan area. 

16 Consideration of the implications of this alternative should be aided by research in progress on the 
earnings tax under the direction of Norton Long at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. 

17 Actually, there are several ways to accomplish this. One that considers jurisdictional changes 
within the city is discussed in Gardner and Payne, An Economic Analysis of Central City Decline. Other 
suggestions for how this might be done appear in Center for Urban Programs, Recommendations on 
tegal Administrative Policies for the City of St Louis, St. Louis University, 1971. 

18 See Institute for Urban and Regional Studies. Urban Decay in St Louis. 

19 Leven and Little's Grant GI-37861-NSF, A Study of Determinants of Inter-Neighborhood Mobility. 


Volume 9 t Number 61 


Page Forty-Seven 


FARMLAND OR WASTELAND? 



Amax Coal Corporation 


vs 


Catlin Township 


/,■ 


'>VK 





BY W. DAVID BAIRD 


y y / . y /yvy/'y //s/// /' y/yy. 


Can a mid western community of 2,500 population pre- 
vent a gigantic coal-mining company from strip mining its 
farmland during the nations’s most serious fuel shortages in 
decades? Residents of Catlin Township in East-Central 
Illinois are trying. 

Nestled in the heart of America’s richest farmland, 
Catlin citizens say that strip mining their land would be 
ecologically and economically unsound. They also feel that 
mining could contribute to future food shortages. And their 
unswerving beliefs are so strong that they have organized a 
non-profit group called the Association for the Preservation 
of Catlin Township (APCT). 

No mining has been done here yet. But citizens fear that 
unless legislation preventing the mining is soon enacted, 
operations could begin within months. So this tiny commu- 
nity has squared off against its opponent — American 
Metals Climax. 

Amax Coal Corporation is based in New York City. It is 
the giant in this modern day battle of David and Goliath. 
Meadowlark Farms, a subsidiary company of Amax, owns 
4,500 acres of farmland in this Illinois community and cur- 
rently has the land under cultivation. Amax has taken core 
samples of the soil and says it intends to mine 7,000 acres. 
This represents nearly half the acreage in the township. 

John Tierney, a 51 -year-old retired Internal Revenue 
officer, is president of APCT. Robert Auler, a Champaign, 
Illinois attorney, has been retained by the group for legal 
counsel. 

Both Tierney and Auler have testified before the Senate 
Interior and Insular Affairs Committee in Washington on 
behalf of APCT. Tierney’s testimony, in part, as it appears 
in the Congressional Record: 

“The people are very much concerned about Amax Coal 
Corporation’s planned strip mine which would surround the 
village of Catlin on the north, east and west, leaving it 
virtually an island surrounded by waste and devastation. 
The initial mine would comprise 7,000 acres. 5,000 acres of 

Page Forty -Eight 


this land is some of the most highly productive farmland in 
the world, exceeding 140 bushels of corn and 50 bushels of 
soybeans to the acre. Much of the land sought to be pur- 
chased has produced 130 bushels of corn to the acre, 
according to University of Illinois surveys. . . 

In his testimony, Tierney states that Catlin Township 
has experienced the greatest percentage of population 
growth in Eastern Illinois over any other townships prior to 
the 1970 census. He says the quiet surroundings of this 
prairie community which attracted many to the area will be 
replaced by the noise of a strip mining operation. 

“Why should the beauty of our natural resources such as 
rows of corn, beans, wheat, timber, and wildlife native to 
the area be replaced by the sight of towering booms of drag 
lines, huge trenches, and other equipment incidental to sur- 
face mining?” 

Present Illinois law doesn’t require strip mined land to 
be restored. The law requires only that land be reclaimed. 
Tierney says, “This farmland cannot possibly produce the 
crop yields we now have . . . How can anyone justify the 
sacrifice of a natural resource that will serve mankind prob- 
ably for eternity for a resource that would be gone forever? 
Surely there are ample deposits of coal elsewhere, the min- 
ing of which would not destroy as much of the value of our 
nation and our world.” 

In his testimony, Auler cites weaknesses in present 
Illinois law. “Our law provides only for reclamation which 
can include slopes of as much as 15 percent or up to 30 
percent if the land is to be turned over to forest, recrea- 
tional, or wildlife use.” 

Auler goes on to say there is no requirement that the 
rare and unique Central Illinois topsoil be saved and 
re-used. He suggests that mining companies be required to 
obtain licenses and says this would encourage bargaining 
with opponents of mining (such as APCT) which could re- 
solve differences. 

Senator Charles Percy (R-Ill.) is sympathetic with Catlin 

FOCUS /Midwest 





residents as evidenced by remarks in a letter he wrote to 
Tierney. “The grievances aired in these statements (Senate 
testimony) point out legitimate grievances, even traumas, 
faced by the residents of several communities across the 
country. ... I have written to the president of Amax Coal 
Corporation expressing my hope that a mutually satis- 
factory resolution of these difficulties can be reached 
through continued productive dialogue,” Percy writes. 

Catlin Township is in Vermilion County and according 
to Dr. M. E. Hopkins of the Illinois State Geological Sur- 
vey, coal reserves in .this county total two-and-one-half- 
billion tons. Hopkins estimates that 80 percent of this 
amount is recoverable. “Vermilion County is a likely area 
for potential development by mining companies in the near 
future,” he says. Hopkins says he doesn’t knowhow much 
of the county’s coal is the low sulfur content type. The 
majority of Illinois coal has a high sulfur content, the burn- 
ing of which contributes greatly to air pollution. 

Illinois Governor Daniel Walker, in his 1974 state-of- 
the-state message proposes a $ 100-million energy conserva- 
tion bond issue to make the state’s high sulfur coal “econo- 
mically usable and consistent with clean air standards.” 

The governor charges that federal energy conservation 
efforts have been “narrow, punitive and confusing.” He has 
asked the state legislature to take the lead in Illinois’ energy 
conservation and coal research by getting an experimental 
$1 -billion coal gasification plant for the state. Walker says 
his proposals would “open up enormous and new markets 
for Illinois coal not only in Illinois but throughout the 
country.” 

How does APCT feel about its fight in view of the na- 
tion’s energy crisis? Tierney says, “There’s no point in cre- 
ating a new problem (strip mining) in order to solve another 
(fuel shortage).” 

As for the economic impact on the area and a future 
food shortage, Tierney cites figures from the November, 
1973 issue of Illinois Farm Bureau Magazine'. During 1973, 




farm exports from the state totaled more than 
$1,311,000,000. This represents a 60-percent increase over 
1972,” Tierney says. According to the farm magazine re- 
port, corn and soybeans were the two leading export com- 
modities; also the two leading crops produced in Catlin 
Township. 

The problem of strip mining isn’t unique to East Central 
Illinois. The situation has parallels in many other areas of 
the U.S. The difference is that Catlin residents aren’t being 
intimidated by big business. As APCT’s attorney put it dur- 
ing his senate testimony, “We cannot allow a situation to 
exist wherein the residents of places like Catlin must orga- 
nize virtual vigilante committees to try to protect their 
property and way of life.” 

Catlin residents are attacking their problem on many 
fronts. But the political arena seems to be where they’re 
having the most success. 

Tierney is enthused about results of the senate testi- 
mony. “We’re definitely going to get some kind of legisla- 
tion,” he says. He says that many of the points made in the 
testimony are included in a revised version of a surface- 
mining control bill passed by the senate in October, 1973. 
“Here we have a voice. We don’t have anything in the pres- 
ent Illinois law. It’s strictly a one-way proposition between 
the coal companies and the Department of Mines and 
Minerals,” Tierney says. 

Even though APCT has the endorsement of such groups 
as the National Audubon Society and the Sierra Club, the 
question still persists: Will Catlin Township remain an area 
of bountiful farmland or will it be reduced to wasteland? 


W. David Baird is a machinist. He has written for news- 
papers, radio and television stations , and wire services. 


Volume 9, Number 61 


Page Forty-Nine 


THE ARTIFICIAL ENERGY CRISIS 


Accused: 
The Oil 

Companies 



BY JOHN SWOMLEY, JR. 


/C &UZLrtU7TB^ 


All fuel resources are finite. At the present growth rate 
ot consumption both oil and natural gas will be exhausted 
sometime in the next 50 to 100 years. Even coal which is 
now abundant will not last indefinitely. The immediate 
S r*i! a8e « however, is definitely artificial, a result 

ot the collusion of the big oil companies and their allies in 
the Nixon Administration. 


Oil Import Quotas 

The oil companies influenced the Eisenhower-Nixon 
dmimstration to adopt, by executive order in 1959, oil 
unport quotas intended to keep the then cheaper foreign oil 
rom competing with the domestic production. They 
wanted to take advantage of high U.S. crude oil prices. 

resident Nixon’s Cabinet Task Force on Oil Import; 

ti °" r V e ??? ed in ^ 70 that > but for these import restric- 
tions the U.S. domestic wellhead price for crude oil - $3 

hL^i" WOUld decline . over time, to around $2 per 
' e same re Port indicated “that American con- 
n . n . w ® re P^yhig $5 billion more each year for oil 
A an the y wou W have to pay if imports were not 
Prpci/io * \r espite h^ s pronouncements against inflation, 
f a< fw N «on rejected the recommendations of his own 
f°J abandoning the oil import quota system.” 

Own r° r J^ arr * s ’ "Oil, Capitalism Betrayed in Its 

Own Camp, The Progressive, April, 1 973) 

A brief look at the profits of one major oil company, 
and its cost of production will reveal why the oil industry 
has insisted on import quotas. 

Cost of Gasoline 

Standard Oil of California increased its first quartei 
Page Fifty 


profits from $123 million in 1972 to $152.8 million in the 
same three months in 1973. Most of California Standard’s 
crude oil comes from wells in California. “It costs the 
company roughly 75 cents to draw an average barrel of 
crude oil from its California wells,” says Christopher Rand, 
a former Standard executive. Robert Custer, a process 
engineer with Bechtel Corporation, one of Standard’s con- 
tractors, adds that the company then pays another 50 cents 
to refine a 42 gallon barrel of gasoline. This means the 
company can produce and refine 42 gallons of gas for $1.25 
or about three cents a gallon.” (Roger Rapoport, National 
Catholic Reporter, June 8, 1973) 

The gasoline is then “marked up as much as 800 percent 
and wholesaled for 20 to 24 cents a gallon.” The dealer got 
five or six cents additional and the 1 3 cents tax brought the 
price in early 1973 to 38 to 43 cents a gallon. Since 
about 70 percent of its crude oil comes from these inex- 
pensive sources of about 75 cents a barrel only about 30 
percent was imported at $2.25 a barrel. Christopher Rand 
asserted that “By keeping imports and refinery capacity 
below demand, Standard and other major companies helped 
to create an artificial petroleum shortage. This turned out 
to be an excellent way to pressure the government into 
making lucrative concessions to the oil companies.” 

The big oil companies not only profited from low 
domestic oil costs but also wanted to avoid any present or 
future U.S. legal restrictions. A number of them decided 
not to increase refinery capacity in the U.S. but to build 
new refineries in the Caribbean where taxes are lower, 
where they could avoid using U.S. owned ships for trans- 
portation and where they could shift gasoline to Europe or 

FOCVS/Midwest 


other higher price areas.” (Rep. Les Aspin, “Big Oils Latest 
Gimmick,” The Nation , June 18, 1973) 

Deception By Oil Companies 

When the Office of Emergency Preparedness asked the 
oil companies if there were adequate supplies of heating oil 
for the winter of 1972-73 the major oil companies gave 
assurances. George Lincoln, the O.E.P. Director told a Sen- 
ate subcommittee: “I have been assured by several major 
suppliers that there should be an adequate supply of No. 2 
oil during the coming winter. The industry has the neces- 
sary refining capacity and necessary feed stocks to insure 
adequate supply. (Ibid.) 

The oil companies not only deceived the O.E.P. with the 
result that “thousands of homes, schools, farms and fac- 
tories were short of fuel oil” in December, 1972, but also 
“consciously underproduced fuel oil during the fall and 
early winter of 1972.” (Ibid.) During the fall of 1972 the 
O.E.P. and the Interior Department asked the oil companies 
to refine oil at full capacity. “The response of the major oil 
companies . . . was to import only one-third of the addi- 
tional crude oil the President had authorized and to run 
most of their refineries below capacity for the rest of the 
year.” A staff study for the Senate Permanent Investigation 
Subcommittee concluded, “This was the beginning of the 
first peacetime petroleum shortage in the United States.” 
(Bret Hume, “The Case Against Big Oil,” The New York 
Times Magazine , December 9, 1973) 

The big oil companies concentrated on refining gasoline 
rather than heating oil because it was more profitable 
during the Nixon Phase II price controls. (Lawrence Stem, 
“Oil Our Private Government,” The Progressive , April, 
1973) David Freeman, Director of the Ford Foundation’s 
Energy Policy project and a former White House energy 
adviser, said of the 1972 fuel situation in an address to the 
Consumer Federation of America: “Thus far, the energy 
crisis is a self-inflicted wound — three years ago the Presi- 
dent’s own Cabinet task force recommended that he scrap 
the present oil import quota system. The winter’s so called 
‘energy crisis’ was manufactured right here in Washington. 
It could have been averted with a stroke of the President’s 
pen.” (Ibid.) 

The major oil companies “also exported approximately 

200.000 barrels of fuel oil during December, 1972, and 
January, 1973,” and during February, 1973 “7.2 million 
barrels of refined petroleum products were shipped from 
the United States. During the first four months of 1973, 
1.5 million barrels of propane gas, which today is desperate- 
ly needed by American farmers to plant, harvest and dry 
their crops, were exported.” (Aspin cited above) 

When the serious fuel oil shortage developed in the 
winter of 1972-73 refinery production was shifted to heat- 
ing oil “so that shortages of gasoline in the summer of 1973 
became inevitable.” (Hume cited above) 

Senator Adlai Stevenson (D.-Ill.) told plastics manu- 
facturers December 10, 1973 that major oil and natural gas 
companies have been “holding back production in anticipa- 
tion of higher prices.” He indicated that the oil industry has 
been keeping 1 ,000 'off-short wells in the Gulf of Mexico 
out of production deliberately. As of 1 1 months ago about 

1.000 oil and natural gas wells had been drilled and capped 
on 838,000 acres of federally leased land beneath the Gulf, 
Stevenson said. ( Kansas City Times , December 13, 1973) 

Reasons For Artificial Shortage 

There are basically four reasons for the artificial shortage 
created by the oil companies. The first is profits. During the 
first nine months of 1973 the profits of Exxon (Standard 
Oil of New Jersey) rose 59.4 percent cQmpared to tne first 
nine months of 1972. Mobil went up 38.4%, Texaco 34.8%, 
Standard Oil of California 39.7%, Standard Oil of Ohio 

Volume 9 , Number 61 


92.6%, and Gulf Oil 437.7%. (AFL-CIO Department of 
Research, AFL-CIO News, November 24, 1973) 

Representative Les Aspin wrote that “the allegedly 
limited supplies are an opportunity to increase prices. Every 
time gasoline goes up a penny it costs American consume rs 
$1 billion. Since the twenty-three major oil companies 
produce, refine, market and retail much of the gasoline; in 
the United States, most of any price increase goes t«o tb*em. 
— In total, oil industry profits skyrocketed an im pressive 
$500 million in the first quarter of 1973.” (Aspin cited 
above) 

End of Competition 

The second major reason for the artificial shorta ge was 
the big oil companies* decision to drive their only so urce of 
competition, the 6,600 independent stations witii their 
lower priced gas, out of business. A Federal Trade C Commis- 
sion study asserts that “The majors cannot raise gasoline 
price margins in markets where there is increasing e mtry and 
expansion by price-competing independents an/d in this 
sense the independents serve to prevent out of cor itrol price 
increases.” The FTC, wrote James Ridgewa y in the 
October, 1973 Ramparts “has documented two cases, one 
against Phillips Petroleum and the other against C )hio Stand- 
ard, that show price rigging to control gasoline nr iarkets.” 

The big oil companies by controlling the pr/ oduction of 
crude oil can cut off oil to independent refine sides and by 
controlling most of the refineries can cut off t he supply of 
gasoline to independents. The artificial shortage made it 
possible for them to stop selling to independer its something 
they had not dared to do before. 

In order to get rid of the independent ga .s stations the 
major oil companies felt it necessary first to get rid of 
Lewis Flagg, the chairman of the Oil Import 1 Appeals Board. 
Roger C. Morton, Secretary of the Departm ent of Interior, 
which has long been a captive of the oil ind *ustry , removed 
Flagg from his job, February 9, 1973. Semator Thomas J. 
McIntyre (D.-N.H.) wrote: “The Chairman of the Board M 
Mr. Lewis Flagg, has been the subject o f criticism fro m 
certain segments of the petroleum indust/ ry for some ti T me 
over the performance and manner in ? which the Bc,ard 
operates. The major integrated oil compan ies have for sf *ver- 
al years complained that the Oil Import 1 Appeals Boarc J was 
too liberal in its granting of hardship qt iota allocatic ms to 
the independent segments of the oil indir stry. 

“The recent decision to remove Mr. Flagg as Ch .airman 
of the Board is, in my opinion, ai < direct result of his 
continuing attempts to maintain withha the petro ieum in- 
dustry the ability of small and medium* sized^busi nesses to 
prosper and compete with their larger rivals.” (S' tern cited 
above.) 

Flagg was removed “less than a week after h e granted a 
hardship allocation of 242 million gallons of gasoline to 
some three dozen small distributors < who, ur ilike the big 
companies, had no access to foreign supplies * or to refinery 
capacity.” (Ibid.) . _ _ _ 

In New York the State Attorney (General I^ouis J. Lefko- 
witz has filed suit against seven m ajor oil firms charging 
that in areas where there was substsintial co mpetition from 
independents the companies charge d an “ official* whole- 
sale price, but then granted rebates 1 to favo red stations. The 
resulting edge given to the major s tation 1 s tended to force 
the independents to shut down. Essentially the same ac- 
cusations have been made in suits file ,<i by the Federal 
Trade Commission and the state* of Connecticut and 
Florida. (New York Times , December 9. , 1973) 

Opposition to Environment; jl Protection 

The third objective of the big e 41 companies was to 
provide a climate of public opinio? ti so that they could 

Page Fifty-One 


\ veaken or destroy the environmental standards adopted by 
C ongress. They succeeded in stampeding Congress into 
clearing the way for constructing a pipeline across Alaska at 
tho expense of Alaska’s wilderness although a Canadian 
pipeline would be less damaging and less expensive. The oil 
com panies’ objection to the Canadian pipeline is that it will 
trans.poit oil and natural gas to the Mid-West whereas the 
Alask.a pipeline is intended to make possible more profit- 
able sales to Japan (Robert Sherrill, “The Trans-Alaska 
Pipeline,”’ The Nation, June 1 1, 1973). 

In addition to securing an OK for the Alaskan pipeline 
the oil companies “persuaded” the Interior Department to 
open tt \e Virgin section of the Continental shelf in the Gulf 
of Mexi co to offshore drilling. Each tract leased by the big 
oil com panies covered 5,750 acres. ( Kansas City Times , 
Decembt % r 21, 1973) 

The n lajor oil companies spent $3 million in a propa- 
ganda cai npaign on TV and newspapers in 1972 “to per- 
suade us that if we would only let them drill and pipe 
anywhere they want, with no consideration for the environ- 
ment, we wouldn’t have trouble getting fuel.” (Sherrill 
cited above ) 

Conoco i'u an October, 1973 ad which was also mailed to 
many publh : opinion forming groups listed as a cause of the 
shortage “th e problem of adequate return on investment.” 
The ad em phasized that “a better balance is needed 
between envj : jronmental goals and energy requirements. This 
will mean sc >me trade-offs in order to build the Alaskan 
pipeline and new refineries and offshore exploration.” 

Natural Gas 

The fourth and probably the most important objective 
of the big oil o ompanies is to eliminate the regulation of the 
price of natura 1 gas. Natural gas is largely produced by the 
oil companies. “The alleged natural gas shortage is at the 
crux of the ene rgy crisis, for it is the hinge on which the oil 
companies base future fuel policy. That policy is fairly 
simple: the gas shortage can be used to force the Federal 
R ower Commissu vn to increase the price of natural gas, then 
as a lever in the 1 Congress to deregulate its price altogether. 
As the price is 1 'orced upward, it becomes economically 
feas ible in the in« iustry’s terms to introduce synthetic gas 
mad\- from coal. ‘ The oil companies have been buying up 
coal * companies am i amassing reserves for the last 10 years.” 
(Jame s Ridgeway, “Notes on the Energy Crisis,” Ramparts, 
October, 1973) 

The oil industry has repeatedly warned that prices were 
artificia Uy low for n atural gas, that unless prices were raised 
and Fec'eral regulat ion ended there would be an energy 
crisis bee ause there \ vould be no economic incentive to seek 
new sour ces. The F ederal Power Commission instead of 
making a thorough i ’ndependent audit of natural gas re- 
serves sim A oly took t he industry’s estimates, agreed that 
there was a shortage and raised prices for offshore Louisi- 
ana gas “fro m \%Vi ce nts per thousand cubic feet (mef) to 
26 cents per mcf. Recent statistics for the year 1972 
suggest the p^rice increc ise had a distinct effect: the opposite 
of the intende d one. M lore successful gas wells were drilled 
in 1972, but strangely gas reserves continued to decline.” 

Nevertheless, in 19V3 the Federal Power Commission 
granted a price increase ■ for natural gas from 26 to 45 cents 
per mcf. In addi tion, tl le FPC has already approved in one 
case the passing along: to the public of the high prices 
involved in convei "ting other energy resources into synthetic 
natural gas. This v vill enable the big oil companies to make 
extra profits from • for ring up the price of coal and still 
more from selling tl ie g as synthesized from coal. (Ibid.) 

It is evident from the foregoing that the oil shortage in 
the United States wa \s caused by the large oil companies yet 
the public impressior. \ which has been carefully nurtured by 


Arab countries and the American interests is that the Arabs 
are withholding oil from the U.S. because of U.S. aid to 
Israel. “As of the week of November 20, oil from Arab 
ports was still being unloaded in the United States. If there 
was an instant fuel shortage, it had nothing to do with the 
Arab embargo.” (Robert Sommer, “Ecology and the 
Energy Shortage,” The Nation, December 10, 1973) 

The Arab Embargo 

Only about five to six percent of total U.S. oil con- 
sumption comes from Arab countries. Most oil imports 
came from Venezuela, Canada, and Nigeria. The chief im- 
pact of the Arab embargo is felt in other countries that 
have very little influence on U.S. policy toward Israel. 

Actually the Arab embargo has almost no connection 
with the hostility between Israel and the Arab nations. Well 
before the Arab invasion of Israel in the fall of 1973 the 
Arab rulers realized they had so much money from oil 
revenues that they didn’t know how to use it or invest it. 
The August 6, 1973 U.S. News and World Report said: “Oil 
revenues are flooding government treasures and banks in 
many Mideast countries with far more money than can be 
spent on internal development. In just five years, the annual 
flow of Arab oil revenues — excluding Iran — has more than 
doubled, jumping from 4.4 billion dollars to over 10 bil- 
lion.” 

The Christian Science Monitor of July 16, 1973 quoted 
the President of Saudi Arabia’s Central Planning Organiza- 
tion, Hisham Nazir, as saying “We can absorb just so much 
money and no more. Tied to this is — the accumulation of 
oil reserves. It is better to have reserves in the ground than a 
lot of depreciating dollars in hand.” 

Earlier in July a Saudi Arabian cabinet minister said, 
“We have found that the maximum revenue we can usefully 
absorb is brought in by production of seven million barrels 
a day. Anything we produce over that harms our own 
interests by keeping prices down and by disturbing our 
economic balance.” (“Oil and U.S. Mideast Policy,” Anti- 
Defamation League Background Paper, p. 10) 

Henry Tanner in a dispatch from Cairo appearing in the 
New York Times of August 31, 1973 said: “At a time of 
steep inflation and after successive devaluations of the 
dollar, the Arab oil countries would be stupid to agree to a 
rapid increase in production when by keeping more of their 
oil in the ground they can expect far higher prices. In 
addition they can stretch the limited time — two or three 
generations - that oil would last at the current rate of 
exploration. 

“The argument continues that at the present rate, oil 
revenue is so great that even with the greatest ingenuity 
only a fraction of it can be invested for development in the 
producing countries or even the whole Arab world.” 

The Arab decision to cut down on oil production for 
economic reasons was subsequently adapted to the political 
situation after the Arabs failed to subdue Israel and regain 
the land taken in the 1967 war. There is no season to 
believe that any settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict will 
persuade the Arabs to produce large quantities of oil con- 
trary to their best economic interests. 

.There are a number of solutions. Ultimately, the only 
reasonable one is public ownership of all the energy re- 
sources required to run American industry, heat homes, and 
provide transportation. 200 million Americans should not 
let two dozen oil companies control and jeopardize their 
economic future. @8 


John Swomley, Jr. is a member of the national board of the 
American Civil Liberties Union and professor of social ethics at St. 
Paul School of Theology, Kansas City. 


Page Fifty -Two 


FOCUS I Midwest 


POEMS John Knoepflc 

8 Jan 

this day the baptist the 
passionate the uninhibited 
his soul lofting a rainbow 
and the air warming snow melting 
a cool thaw I am on delmar boulevard 
walking the morning it is 
' ten miles east to the river 
low billows of white cloud 
tell me where it is and here 
the flat wall of the temple the 
orthodox church with its 
copper blue dome shaggy with snow 
the crazy masonic facade and these 
gates paired with lions 
top heavy and leaning 

the morning was streaked with light the wind 
worrying small fires and there were bells 
one by one adrift in the dawn 
I smoothed the blankets peggy 
wandering her dream she was smiling 

I am the man in my house 

who washes the soap my house is a cavern 

for children and my steps 

the dooms of king dunstan sound 

on the bedroom floor 

now I walk toward home wrapped in myself 

last night in my sleep the bear 

lunged for my death again 

and I killed him with six blows my strength 

a hammering piston of fear 

9 Jan 

the house is old 

it has seen many winds 

felt many guests 

it will not go down 

easily it is kindly 

it has known cousins 

and candles at the supper 

voices sometimes those 

who spoke far down in their truth 

many children I think 

and their good friends 

the lazy windowsill cats 

a dog who did nothing 

who went with tobias 

28 Jan 

old valleys the incessant 
flowers pensive 

tides of its women the motions 
of wounds what is 
this earth a lantern 
swung out in space 
a luminous voice 

commons of the living and the dead 
a soft and blue lovely light 




A WRITER MEETS A POET 


What is poetry? 

Harry Cargos interviews John Knoepfle 


CARGAS: What is poetry? 

KNOEPFLE: I guess that is like asking an electrician to 

define electricity. I suppose the easiest way to come at it is 
to say that poetry is word structure, something on the page, 
mostly , today . But a structure without a vibrant informing 
voice, for me, is just a museum piece, a chair too weak for 
anybody to sit on, but surely a chair because it looks like 
one. The strange business of the voice is the exciting thing, 
the voice provides the energy, marks one man’s crude but 
lively effort off from another’s dead lustre, body laid out in 
a box. Then, too, poetry comes down to the man, it is a 
man’s stance. His total work is something special. I like to 
discover the way he looks at the world around him, the way 
he uses words to tell us what he knows. 

That idea of structure is Aristotelian, of course, a good 
position for a working writer to take, especially when he is 
just beginning. It helps to protect him from early wipeouts 
by well intentioned moralizers who condescend to trouble 
themselves over his best efforts. They make him feel that he 
is guilty of some outrage against humanity. Pragmatic Pla- 
tonists, they say: there is something false about art; there- 
fore drop all this, be alert, get a good job and provide for 
yourself. 


CARGAS: How do you connect with the notion of poetry 
as prophecy? 

KNOEPFLE: I think there may be people around who have 
a special gift for prophetic insight. You know, the inspired 
Old Testament poets or a Blake with incredible psychic 
powers. But, I guess, for most contemporary poets it’s just 
a matter of being reflective, nervous to the constant shifts 
and changes of the times and also curious about things 
overlooked or lost. In these respects a writer is not far away 
trom the plumber or the barber, and it is possible he hasn’t 
more native wit than the house painter (have you ever 
heard a bevy of farmers talking about the price of an acre?), 
but what sets him apart from these people is the fact that 
he is dedicated to the articulation of what he learns and he 
is willing to puzzle through a poem, say, eight or nine years 
before he is willing to let it go. 

My sense of the brutality that underpins society dates 
back to the early fifties. That was felt as a serene time as I 
remember, and I was writing poems about hate and heads 
being lopped off. It’s hard to believe, but that brutality 
wasn’t impressed on me during the war (WW II): it came to 
me when I was putting old time rivermen on tape, getting 
their recollections. Some of the men took the hard labor, 
the use of clubs, the fighting, more or less for granted, but 

Page Fifty-Four 


others were uneasy, looking back, remembering, say, the 
way the roustabouts were treated or the Italian workgangs 
when the dams were being put in on the Ohio - the fore- 
man went into the coffer dam with a pick handle “to make 
‘em go” - anyway, that was close to home, see, and that is 
what I tried to write about as honestly as I could. Now in 
the sixties that brutality became overt and it took down 
some of the most remarkable men of our times. So you 
could say I was prophetic, but what happened was that my 
guess was lucky (unhappily). Probably this is true of most 
writers. Also, if your poems tend to deal in situations where 
justice is involved, unless there is some insane counter- 
reaction, the fathering strength is toward some kind of 
modification of this social disorder, so that in retrospect 
you might appear to be some kind of forerunner when in 
reality you were, in some ways, a fellow who carried a spear 
in a much more ambitious and complicated scene. 

CARGAS: Is it kind of the poet*s vocation to be on the 
right wavelength? 

KNOEPFLE: No, I think the poet has to find out what it is 
he can do the best. You know, there are a lot of good 
people who want to make religious statements and they 
haven’t got an aptitude for this, keep turning out poems 
overpowered by David or the liturgy, sort of like undigested 
pizzas, and there are others with a compulsion to cry out 
against the horrors of the times, but, and they are often 
good craftsmen, they suddenly become impatient to get the 
statement down, and their poems come over shrill. I don’t 
want to hold someone else to a mode just because I am 
personally interested in it. If a man writes best about him- 
self, that is probably where his genius is - I’d rather see 
what he says about some aspect of his own personality than 
something I already know about the troubles in Cambodia. 
So, as for the wavelength, there isn’t a right one in any 
case. All you can do is go along as best you can, maturing 
your poems slowly as well as you can. Anything else pulls 
you away from the making of the poems, turns you into a 
platform lecturer of some kind or an agent specializing in 
the growth of your own reputation, and things tend to get a 
little sick when you go too far into that country. 

CARGAS: Do you find a political dimension in poetry? 

KNOEPFLE: If you mean my own, yes. But it’s something 
that perhaps enters in the back gate. Much of my work 
takes off from the near event in one way or another, but in 
the process of shaping the poem the event is erased or 
moved far into the background. I often start because I’m 
angry about some event, but as I keep working and working 
the poem, then it grows richer, and I see that there are 

FOCUS /Midwest 


maybe contradictory truths involved in it, and the poem 
takes its own head then, It becomes a different kind of 
thing, it often ends in a way that I did not expect and I am 
not always pleased with what I have, but I think it is right 
and am willing to let it go. “Morning in the Museum” is an 
example. It is really my response to President Johnson’s 
intervention in the affairs of the Dominican Republic, but I 
don’t think a reader could know that without a prayer. 
Other poems derive from contact points where something 
that disturbs me as an individual also upsets the public 
consciousness, eerie and frightening moments, often. 
“Funeral of Christ” is worked from such a contact. In that 
poem the sense of Christ as a middle class figure, so much 
in decline today, which touches my parochial soul, is 
caught in terms of our recent national funerals. There is a 
personal and a public union here from which the poem is 
worked. 

CARGAS: That sounds complicated. How do you feel 
about the product of the poet , poetry? Is it for everyone? 

KNOEPFLE: Oh, it surely is for everyone who wants it and 
who will take the trouble to confront it, poetry, that is. But 
a lot of people don’t want to do that. They feel that if they 
do not understand a poem, the author is performing some 
slight of hand on them, and they resent that, they feel 
they’ve been taken, and in order to get around feeling 
inadequate in the face of the work, they’re reaction is to 
condemn it, put it down, you know. Well, this is not hard 
to understand. People are very shaken up today. They find 
all sorts of Euclidian ways of making themselves secure, and 
then when an author shatters their sense of time or place or 
grammar, they become uneasy or enraged. Of course, I’ve 
made some straw men here. People are more complex than 
I have allowed. In any case, I always assume that everybody 
thinks the same way I do on a given subject. I know in 
reality this is not possible, but it is one of my house rules as 
a writer. I would like to be able to speak for everyone and 
vanish from myself in the process. 

CARGAS: Is your work being understood to your satisfac- 
tion? I suppose that’s not exactly possible , but to some 
degree? 

KNOEPFLE: There is a difference, I think between, being 
understood and being known, It is possible to be quite well 
known and hardly understood. Going to a library to thumb 
the magazines for reviews or mention of your work is like 
visiting the cemetery. Everyone else has a name on the 
tombstones, but your name is not there. That might be 
good fortune, but also a sign that you don’t exist. Part of 
the problem is that by the time you have a book reviewed, 
let’s say by a reviewer who really has worked hard to come 
to terms with the poems, the poems are already some five 
or six years behind you. It is flattering if good things are 
said about them, but not very helpful in terms of the un- 
folding of your own style or vision. For that you need a 
few friends who know your weaknesses, people you trust, 
who can help you get rid of the bad stuff or rework half 
written things. As for being understood, I don’t know. 
Critics have complained of being backed into corners by 
poems which seem clear enough to me. Maybe because the 
best of them are deceptively simple when they are not. 

CARGAS: Do you read much poetry? 

KNOEPFLE: As much as I can. There’s no real way unless, 
you know, you are a professional critic, there’s no real way 
to get all the material, those boxes and boxes of new vol- 
umes. It would put you in the poor house if you had to buy 
them. And even if a critic lets you browse through his loot, 
you still are not likely going to see much of the small press 
material, work seldom sent for review to local outlets. And 


a given small press volume if often the most exciting thing 
out in a given half year. You manage to keep in touch 
mostly by talking shop with any writer who comes into 
your area, and, of course, when you are off giving a reading 
somewhere, you get a chance to breeze the evening with 
some sharp people at times. 

CARGAS: Why do you write poetry? 

KNOEPFLE: Well, really because I want to. It’s really as 
simple as that. I started in high school and worked at it off 
and on through college, but didn’t scratch a line during the 
war. After the war I started again, and I guess around in the 
early fifties began to find my own voice and to shuck off 
other influences. It was about then I was putting the river 
men on tape, old timers, steamboat men, and became aware 
of the sounds of their voices. They taught me the oral 
history of the Ohio valley, too. So I had all that special 
material to work with and was able to mold something that 
really was mine, and came along. 

CARGAS: Do you have a personal work schedule that you 
follow — so many hours a day or so much time a day? 

KNOEPFLE: No. I have to work as I can, you know, with 
the four kids and the teaching. I just grab time as I can get 
it. It’s always been that way, not believable when you think 
about it. I think in the future, though, I’ll have to find 
some sort of a retreat. The way things are now, if someone 
turns on television and picks up a football game, I’m sure to 
get hooked. You can waste half a year doing that these 
days. 

CARGAS: Finally , what has it meant to you personally to 
be a poet? 

KNOEPFLE: Well, in terms of a find of social satisfaction, 
poems do have a way of creeping around, and every once in 
awhile you hear about someone, you know, some person 
one of your poems got to. You know, I have a theory about 
art, that it’s always giving what it doesn’t need to. It s the 
one thing you do that when it’s done is totally shared. So it 
makes me feel good if I hear from somebody, say, in Cedar 
Rapids who tells me he was in a bar there and suddenly 
heard a girl quote the last five lines from “Heman Avenue 
Holiday,” or to know that someone else took the trouble to 
paint that poem on the kitchen wall, or to get a letter from 
a student in India telling me that he came across a work of 
mine that meant something special to him — I have to say I 
like that. Then, too, I feel pretty good about many of the 
earlier poems that were firmly set in place, something I 
wanted to do early in the game. I don’t think anyone wrote 
seriously about, say, East St. Louis before I did those 
poems in the fifties, at least it hadn’t occurred to the kids I 
taught there to find their subject matter in and around 
themselves, and since then some sharp writers have come 
from that area. I can’t claim myself as father to that, of 
course, but I have some kinship there and it has been 
acknowledged. But as for a personal response or satisfac- 
tion, things get complicated. It is very hard to keep a steady 
view of your own work. One minute you feel pretty good 
about this poem you wrote and the next you want to toss it 
out the window. I find, too, as I get older that the old 
arrogance is gone. After all, the world is not waiting spell- 
bound for my latest effort. I find it is a little harder to send 
poems out, a little harder to judge when this or that poem 
is shaped as well as I can get it. But I do like to write the 
poems. I like to see them begin to fill out and attach them- 
selves to larger, nuclear units, and I like to try to change 
them and rework them, get out the bad rhetoric that is 
often in them — they do get heavily reworked, so much so 
that I think that often a reader reads right through them 
without seeing them. ®® 


Volume 9, Number 61 


Page Fifty-Five 



THE RIGHT WING 

AMERICANS FOR 
CONSTITUTIONAL ACTION 

Gerald Ford, named to succeed Agnew, 
had a voting index of 77 (out of 100%) with 
the right-wing Americans for Constitutional 
Action. ACA ratings of other GOP mem- 
bers: John Ashbrook, Ohio, 97; Sam 
Devine, Ohio, 97; John Rousselot, the Cali- 
fornia Bircher, 97; Leslie Arends, the Whip, 
83; John Rhodes, Chairman of the GOP 
Policy Committee, 82; William Anderson, 
111., Chairman of the GOP Conference, 75. 

CITIZENS FOR 
DECENCY THROUGH LAW 

Citizens for Decency through Law, or- 
ganized 20 years ago to fight pornography, 
has run afoul of the law in several states for 
spending too much of its income for fund- 
raising, according to the Wall Street Journal 
of Jan. 21. The group is best known as 
Citizens for Decent Literature, its name 
until recently. Various states require tax- 
exempt groups to spend a certain percentage 
of their budgets in advancing programs, 
rather than just raising money. New York 
officials report that in 1972, for example, 
CDL spent $1.4 million, or 67 percent for 
administration and fund-raising. Top of- 
ficers of CDL have participated several years 
in Birch activities. 

CONSERVATIVE 
BOOK CLUB 

The 10-year old Conservative Book Club, 
together with its publishing arm, Arlington 
House, has been distributing a steady stream 
of books on a wide variety of subjects. Here 
are some examples: The Liberal Middle 
Class : Maker of Radicals, by Richard L. 
Cutler, is supposed to tell “why Johnny - 
and Jane - are growing up radical.” Similar- 
ly, The New Illiterates (and how to keep 
your child from becoming one), by Samuel 
L. Blumenfeld, urges “a return to phonics.” 
And The Death of the American University , 
by Prof. L. G. Heller, makes special refer- 
ence to “the collapse of City College of New 
York.” The Disaster Lobby is about “proph- 
ets of ecological doom and other absurd- 
ities.” The Strike Threat System (“There is 
no right to strike”) is by Prof. W. H. Hutt, a 
hero of right-wing thought from South 
Africa. 

LIBERTY LOBBY 
MEETS IN K.C. 

Liberty Lobby claims that more than 
750 patriots from 46 states attended its 
“survival strategy seminar” and Board of 
Policy convention in Kansas City. It was 

Page Fifty-Six 


climaxed by a dinner in honor of Robert 
DcPugh, the head Minuteman, free after 
four years in prison. Incidentally, Willis 
Carto is emerging from the shadows of the 
far-right Liberty Lobby and running it more 
openly. 

THE NATIONAL RIGHT 
TO WORK 

The National Right to Work Organiza- 
tion, an anti-union effort, includes the fol- 
lowing among its “Advisory Council of 
Business and Community Leaders” of its 
Legal Defense Foundation: William H. 
Weldon, publisher, News Tribune, Jefferson 
City, Missouri; E. M. Douthat, president, 
Locke Stove Company, Kansas City, Mis- 
souri; Frank Flick, president, Flick-Reedy 
Corporation, Benscnville, Illinois; H. Ken- 
neth Foute, president, Drake Manufacturing 
Co., Chicago, Illinois; John J. Gallagher, 
president, Gallagher Asphalt Corp., Thorn- 
ton, Illinois; Arthur C. Prine, Jr., vice presi- 
dent, R. R. Donnelley & Sons Co., Chicago, 
Illinois; C. W. Weise, vice president, Schaub 
Engineering Co., Downers Grove, Illinois 
and J. L. Wiggins, executive vice president, 
Automotive Service Industry Association, 
Chicago, Illinois. 

ORGANIZE AMERICANS 
AGAINST UNION CONTROL 
OF GOVERNMENT 

Americans Against Union Control of 
Government is the latest entrant in the anti- 
labor field. Its executive vice president, 
James L. Martin, recently left Richard A. 
Vigueric’s right-wing fund-raising enterprise 
and set up his own shop near Washington. 
Before that, Martin had been an assistant to 
Representative (now Senator) Ed Gurney of 
Florida, who has been active in the “right- 
to-work” movement. The new group’s open- 
ing fund-raiser is signed by Ralph de Tolcda- 
no, right-wing columnist and author of an 
attack on Cesar Chavez and his United Farm 
Workers. 

ROBERT WELCH 
— THE "ENEMY?" 

Robert Welch, in the October Bulletin of 
the John Birch Society, has a long story 
about Birchers who have turned on him or 
the group. The main one, not named, is 
obviously Dr. Stuart Crane, a former paid 


State and Congressional Votes 

Since 1962 VOQilS! Midwest has offered its 
subscribers a unique service: Descriptions 
and votes of regular bills before the General 
Assemblies of Illinois and Missouri. Principal 
past issues dealing with votes are Numbers 
29, 39, 47, and 55. Issues Number 49 and 
50 present biographical sketches of all legis- 
lators running for reelection in Illinois and 
Missouri. Voting back issues arc $1.50 each 
— all six are available for $7.50. 


coordinator for JBS in Michigan, then popu- 
lar seminar conductor all over the country. 
The professor apparently accused Welch of 
being part of the enemy. 



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